“Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today” – National Preparedness Month

124421 NPM 2015 Social Media Tip1This September, the American Red Cross joins in celebrating National Preparedness Month (NPM) 2015. The national theme for this year’s National Preparedness Month (NPM) is “Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today”. Across the country, people are being asked to make their disaster plan now. Full details are available on the national campaign on the Ready.Gov NPM campaign page.

View President Barack Obama’s 2015 National Preparedness Month Presidential Proclamation: http://1.usa.gov/1JJZb6k

The American Red Cross Gold Country Region encourages everyone to be ready for emergencies like home fires by creating a disaster plan for their household during National Preparedness Month.

“Having an emergency plan is an important step so everyone in the household knows what they should do if something happens,” said Lilly Wyatt, Red Cross Gold Country Region Regional Communications Director.  “We believe people should mark National Preparedness Month by creating or updating their plan.”

HOME FIRES National Preparedness Month is a good time to develop a fire escape plan and practice it with everyone in the household. When developing the plan, walk through the home and look at all exits and possible escape routes, including windows. List two ways to get out of every room in case fire blocks one of the paths. Pick a place to meet outside, a safe distance away and – no matter the circumstances – stay out of the home until fire officials say it is okay to go back inside. All households should practice their plan at least twice a year.

People should also install smoke alarms on every level of their home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. They should test the alarms monthly, replace the batteries at least once a year and replace them every ten years.

MAKE A PLAN Everyone in the household should help put the emergency plan together so they know what they should do if something occurs. Because everyone  may not be together at home when a disaster happens,  the plan should include ways to contact one another and two places to meet – one near the home in case of a sudden emergency like a fire, and one outside the neighborhood in case circumstances prevent people from returning home. The plan should also identify an emergency contact person from outside the area in case local telephone lines are overloaded or out of service.

Any emergency plan should also include decisions about where to go if ordered to evacuate and what route to take to get there. It’s a good idea to include alternate routes in case roads are closed. Don’t forget family pets. Make sure to include plans for them such as pet-friendly hotels and animal shelters along the evacuation route.

RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross has developed mobile apps that provide information on what to do before, during and after emergencies. The all-inclusive Emergency App and other preparedness apps have a “Make a Plan” feature on how to develop an emergency plan. Users can develop their plan and share it with household members through the apps.

People can also download the Monster Guard App so 7 to 11 year-olds will have a free, fun gaming environment to learn how to prevent emergencies like home fires and stay safe in an emergency or severe weather. The free apps can be found in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

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Turlock Church Fire – Canteening Operations

A church at Columbia Avenue and South Orange Street in Turlock was destroyed by fire early Friday morning. The American Red Cross Disaster Action Team volunteers were requested to provide canteening services to the team of firefighters.

The fire at Equip Church was called in at 4:38 a.m. and portions of the 7,000-square-foot basement still were burning at 10:30 a.m., the Turlock Fire Department reported.

Our team of volunteers provided coffee, pastries and water for breakfast then pizza and other refreshments for lunch.

In all, 45 firefighters battled the blaze from Turlock city, Turlock Rural, Modesto, Ceres, Denair, Hughson, Keyes, Patterson and Stanislaus Consolidated fire districts.

https://www.flickr.com/gp/redcrosscapitalregion/3hw7M1

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Bill Before Legislature Would Wllow Vet Care at Emergency Shelters

12-year-old yellow lab Woody Wyatt and his adoptive mom Lilly.

12-year-old yellow lab Woody Wyatt and his adoptive mom Lilly.

Editorial by Kevin O”Neal and Christy Woods

Katrina. Ten years ago this month that name became forever linked with tragic scenes of devastated residents, flooded homes and businesses, harried evacuations, and heroic rescues throughout the Gulf States. Merciless in its carnage, Hurricane Katrina became one of the deadliest and most expensive natural disasters in our nation’s history.

Amidst enormous disaster response efforts mounted by communities and government agencies, a simultaneous animal rescue operation was being undertaken by emergency responders and animal welfare groups from Louisiana and across the country. They mobilized quickly to save and care for thousands of companion animals imperiled by the storm.

Despite the massive effort, Katrina’s devastation exposed many flaws in the way we were responding to animals during natural disasters, and groups like the ASPCA and other animal welfare responders immediately dedicated themselves to improving policies and processes to save more lives. We’ve come a long way in the past ten years, but there’s still much work to be done.

Some of that work is happening right now in the state of California — no stranger to natural disasters — where the ASPCA and the American Red Cross are working to pass AB 317, legislation that will improve California’s emergency response capabilities. Current state law only allows veterinary care of animals at facilities with a premise permit, and obtaining such a permit in the midst of a crisis can create life-threatening delays. AB 317 exempts emergency shelters from the permit requirement during state emergencies, though it requires those shelters to conform to all standards of care expected of permanent veterinary facilities.

Our experience during Katrina confirms the importance of these temporary animal shelters. According to a Fritz Institute poll, 44 percent of New Orleans residents delayed or chose not to evacuate the city because they refused to leave their pets behind. A similar nationwide poll by Lake Research Partners on behalf of the ASPCA found 42 percent of Americans across the country stating they would also not evacuate without their pets. With pets, owners, and emergency responders all at such great risk, accessible emergency shelters are critical to saving lives.

While the rescue of animals in the initial response to a disaster is critical, reuniting animals with their owners after a disaster is equally important. In the aftermath of Katrina, roughly 15 to 20 percent of animals were reunited with their owners.

Establishing emergency animal shelters near Red Cross shelters is a key component to increasing the return of animals to their families, and both the Red Cross and ASPCA strive to co-locate shelters whenever possible. AB 317 would facilitate this process by making the establishment of fully-qualified emergency shelters easier and faster.

This is why the Red Cross joins us in enthusiastically supporting AB 317, which currently needs one more critical vote before heading to the Governor for his consideration.

Thanks to the lessons of Katrina, animals are better protected during natural disasters now than they’ve ever been, but California can play an important role in ensuring and enhancing those protections with AB 317, which serves the best interests of California pets and people.  We thank Assemblyman Brian Maienschein (D-San Diego) for his leadership in recognizing the need for this legislation, and we urge the Senate to take decisive action to pass this bill.

Kevin O’NeillChristy WoodsKevin O’Neill is senior director of government relations for the ASPCA/Western region. Christy Woods is director of state government relations and external affairs for the American Red Cross.

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Disaster Operations Report – Week of August 24, 2015

Gold Country Region – Local Incident Details

This Week
17 Incidents
131 Clients

This Year
125 Incidents
1155 Clients

Mon, Aug 24 – Sacramento, CA (Sacramento – 16-155)
Incident: Fire Impact: 3 Units, 5 Adults, 4 Children
Responders: 2 Services Provided: Housing and Food

Mon, Aug 24 – Sacramento, CA (Sacramento – 16-157)
Incident: Fire Impact: 1 Unit, 2 Adults, 4 Children
Responders: 2 Services Provided: Housing, Food, and Clothing

Tue, Aug 25 – Weaverville, CA (Trinity – 16-158)
Incident: Fire Impact: 5 Adults
Responders: 1 Services Provided: Client Snacks and Canteened Clients

Wed, Aug 26 – Redding, CA (Shasta – 16-161)
Incident: Fire Impact: 3 Units, 10 Adults, 5 Children
Responders: 4 Services Provided: Housing, Food, Clothing, and Medication

Wed, Aug 26 – Chico, CA (Butte – 16-164)
Incident: Fire Impact: 3 Units, 4 Adults
Responders: 2 Services Provided: Housing, Food, Clothing, and Medication

Wed, Aug 26 – Stockton, CA (San Joaquin – 16-165)
Incident: Fire Impact: 1 Unit, 2 Adults
Responders: 2 Services Provided: Housing, Food, and Clothing

Wed, Aug 26 – Sacramento, CA (Sacramento – 16-166)
Incident: Fire Impact: 1 Unit, 1 Adult
Responders: 3 Services Provided: Housing, Food, and Clothing

Wed, Aug 26 – Modesto, CA (Stanislaus – 16-167)
Incident: Fire Impact: 1 Unit, 3 Adults
Responders: 2 Services Provided: Housing and Food

Thu, Aug 27 – Mi-Wuk Village, CA (Tuolumne – 16-168)
Incident: Fire Impact: 3 Units, 4 Adults, 4 Children
Responders: 2 Services Provided: Housing, Food, Clothing, Medication, and Mental Health

Thu, Aug 27 – Mi-Wuk Village, CA (Tuolumne – 16-169)
Incident: Fire Impact: 1 Unit, 1 Adult, 1 Child
Responders: 1 Services Provided: Food, Clothing, and Translation

Thu, Aug 27 – Oroville, CA (Butte – 16-170)
Incident: Fire Impact: 1 Unit, 2 Adults
Responders: 2 Services Provided: Housing and Food

Thu, Aug 27 – Sacramento, CA (Sacramento – 16-171)
Incident: Fire Impact: 1 Unit, 3 Adults, 1 Child
Responders: 2 Services Provided: Housing, Food, and Clothing

Thu, Aug 27 – Live Oak, CA (Sutter – 16-172)
Incident: Fire Impact: 1 Unit, 5 Adults, 2 Children
Responders: 2 Services Provided: Housing, Food, and Clothing

Fri, Aug 28 – Stockton, CA (San Joaquin – 16-174)
Incident: Fire Impact: 2 Units, 5 Adults, 1 Child
Responders: 2 Services Provided: Housing, Food, and Clothing

Fri, Aug 28 – Turlock, CA (Stanislaus – 16-175)
Incident: Fire Impact: 1 Unit, 45 Adults, 45 First responders
Responders: 4 Services Provided: Food and Canteened Responders

Fri, Aug 28 – Portola, CA (Plumas – 16-176)
Incident: Fire Impact: 2 Units, 4 Adults, 3 Children
Responders: 2 Services Provided: Food and Clothing

Sun, Aug 30 – Sacramento, CA (Sacramento – 16-181)
Incident: Fire Impact: 1 Unit, 2 Adults, 3 Children
Responders: 2 Services Provided: Housing, Food, and Clothing

Incident Statistics
Responders
Responders Active: 29
Responder Travel: 960 miles

Resources For Clients
Comfort Kits: 37
Toys: 10
Blankets: 9

Deployments
There are no deployments on record at this time.

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Red Cross Saves 15 Lives and Installs 100,000 Smoke Alarms in Less Than a Year

WASHINGTON D.C. – August 13, 2015 — The American Red Cross and its partners have saved 15 lives and installed more than 100,000 smoke alarms in homes across the country during the last ten months. This accomplishment is part of a nationwide Home Fire Campaign launched last October to reduce the number of people who die or are injured during a fire in their home.

124307_EOYS_2015_Infographic_SocialMedia_1200x1200_FINAL-01“Those 100,000 smoke alarms will be out there protecting families every day for years to come, thanks to the dedication of local volunteers and partners going door-to-door to spread preparedness information in their communities,” said Russ Paulsen, the executive director, community preparedness and resilience services for the Red Cross. “We can count 15 of our neighbors who are still with us today and we know there will be more lives saved. This success lays the groundwork to more than double our efforts next year.”

Since the Home Fire Campaign began, the Red Cross and its partners have installed smoke alarms in almost 2,000 cities and towns in all 50 states. The campaign has already helped save 15 lives in five states ranging from a 3-year-old child to a 73-year-old grandmother.

“Home fires are tragic and devastating to those who experience them”, said Paulsen. “The Red Cross is committed to mobilizing volunteers and local partners to help people protect and prepare both their families and communities.”

In the Gold Country Region, we have:

  • Canvassed: 2,190 homes
  • Installed: 1,131 Smoke Alarms
  • Developed: 781 emergency plans
  • Replaced: 339 batteries

On on October 10, we’re planning to installed more than 1000 smoke alarms in just ONE DAY! Visit, http://bit.ly/Goal1000 for more information and to sign up.

The campaign is a multi-year effort to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent. Working with fire departments and community groups across the country, the Red Cross is installing smoke alarms in homes in neighborhoods at high risk for fires and teaching residents about fire prevention and preparedness.124307_EOYS_2015_Infographic_SocialMedia_1200x1200_FINAL-02

The Home Fire Campaign is powered by more than 1,800 local community partners and more than 40 national partner organizations. Key supporters include: International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC); Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA); United States Fire Administration (USFA); Rebuilding Together; Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation; Meals on Wheels America; Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS); National Council on Independent Living (NCIL); Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA); Vision 20/20; Project Paradigm; Hope worldwide; Habitat for Humanity; Portlight Strategies, Inc.; and Lott Carey.

WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO The Red Cross asks everyone to take two simple steps to help prevent injury and death during a fire in their home – check their smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home. Every household should develop a fire escape plan and practice it several times a year and at different times of the day. The plan should include two ways to get out of every room and a place to meet outside. Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas or homes on the second floor or above.

People should also install smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. The alarms should be tested every month and the batteries replaced at least once a year.

People can visit redcross.org to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire or contact their local Red Cross to learn about the location of local smoke alarm installation events. They can also help by volunteering their time or making a donation today to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. We respond to nearly 70,000 other disasters every year, from home fires to hurricanes and more. Learn more about how Disaster Relief donations have helped people affected by previous disasters including home fires.

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Pillowcase Project on Fox40 News!

Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina gave birth to a wonderful project for children – The Pillowcase Project. This preparedness education program for 3rd through 5th grade students teaches about personal and family preparedness, local hazards, and basic coping skills.

During the 10th Anniversary of Katrina, Red Cross chapters across the nation have been participating in the World’s Largest Pillowcase Projects to increase awareness of this unique project. The Gold Country region kicked off this event at Prairie Elementary School in Elk Grove.

We were so thrilled to have Fox40 showcasing the project, the students and our volunteers LIVE on the air and later on in their evening newscast. Below you can see the piece in their 6PM News.

Four Fun Facts About the Pillowcase Project:

  1. The Red Cross Pillowcase Project began in New Orleans after the disaster, where volunteers reached out to children in the community who remembered Katrina’s fury and remained afraid of storms.
  2. The Red Cross took the lead in talking with them about disasters and loss, about rebuilding their lives starting with a pillowcase and a plan. Children began to feel the strength that comes from being prepared.
  3. In the past 10 years, the Pillowcase Project has expanded to hundreds communities across the United States to help children better plan for their future. And it all begins with a pillowcase.
  4. In the Gold Country Region, we have shared the Pillowcase Project with more than 3600 students.

Check out pictures from the day on our Flickr Album.

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#K10 – World’s Largest Pillowcase Project

Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, will mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The storm destroyed much of the Gulf Coast including Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

In remembrance of those who lost lives, to recognize the resiliency of those who survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, and to honor the volunteers who facilitated recovery, the American Red Cross is creating the World’s Largest Pillowcase Project on or before Saturday, Aug. 29.

Hurricane Katrina highlighted the need to create better prepared communities. An initiative born in post-Katrina New Orleans, “The Pillowcase Project” of the American Red Cross teaches children how to prepare for emergencies, practice what they have learned, and share their knowledge with family and friends.

The Gold Country Region has been educating children in the 24-county region since 2014 and to date we have reached more than 3600 school aged kids!

This 10th anniversary of the devastating hurricane, we will share the message of preparedness one week leading up to August 29th at Prairie Elementary School located in Elk Grove. We will be holding not one, but seven disaster preparedness workshops to increase awareness of this unique children’s project, reinforcing the importance of disaster preparedness planning.

More about The Pillowcase Project

Red Cross New Orleans CEO Kay Wilkins had learned that Loyola University students carried their valuables in pillowcases when they evacuated for Katrina. This inspired Wilkins and her team to work with an art therapist to create a program around decorating pillowcases for the children living in makeshift communities across New Orleans during Katrina recovery. Soon, their Pillowcase Project became a preparedness education program for elementary school students. After just a few years, several other Red Cross chapters adapted and implemented the program with substantial success.

In early 2013, the Walt Disney Company funded the design and development phase of a multi- year effort to build on this success by creating a standardized, state-of-the-art preparedness education program. The Pillowcase Project is now customized for use by Red Cross chapters across the United States and internationally reaching hundreds of thousands of elementary school-aged children in the classroom and in after-school settings.

Join the conversation, follow the hasthtags: #PillowcaseProject  #Katrina10 @RedCross

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