Dakota Bradley Named Ambassador for Red Cross Fire Mission

After losing his childhood home in a house fire at the age of 15, singer/songwriter Dakota Bradley has a personal connection to those who know all too well what the fire takes from people.  Growing up in St. Louis, MO, Bradley moved to Nashville, TN at the age of 16 after his family lost everything in a house fire. This life-changing experience is the inspiration behind Bradley’s passion to partner with the American Red Cross and to serve as an Ambassador for our home fire campaign to reduce fire deaths and injuries by 25%.

“Losing my home in a fire was devastating. I am honored to partner with the American Red Cross in hopes to prevent similar tragedies, as well as a way to help fire victims,” says Bradley.

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To kick off the yearlong giving campaign, Bradley will donate $0.50 to the American Red Cross for every digital purchase of “Name On It” sold between now and September 30, 2015. You can download his new single by visiting iTunes.  Your gift to Home Fire Relief enables the Red Cross to provide critical services to people impacted by home fires along with the lifesaving tools and information to support home fire prevention efforts.

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Parents’ Gratitude for Blood Donors Highlights Summer Need

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The American Red Cross has recently been in extra need of blood donors; the impact of blood donors has always proved instrumental in saving lives. As blood donations continue to decline this summer, the American Red Cross asks eligible donors to remember patients who are counting on the generosity of volunteers to roll up a sleeve and give. Without lifesaving blood, patients like 3-year-old Emily Stephenson wouldn’t be alive to share their stories.

Emily’s Story

Emily was only a few days old when her parents, Amy and Wayne Stephenson, learned she had a genetic blood disorder which causes severe anemia. To remain healthy, Emily will require blood transfusions every six to eight weeks until she is at least 10 years old. She’s already received blood more than 30 times.

“Blood donation is the bridge between life and death for Emily, but it is also so much more,” said Amy Stephenson. “It is learning to ride a bike, going to her first dance, earning a diploma and walking down an aisle someday.”

The Red Cross partnered with the Stephenson family in a special video to put a face on the importance of blood donation. In the video “Emily’s Story: A Letter from Mom and Dad,” the Stephensons want to express eternal gratitude for those who roll up a sleeve to help Emily live.

“The process of donation may appear to be filled with anonymity, but we see a name in every unit Emily receives during a transfusion,” said Amy Stephenson. “While we do not know the donor, we can see your heart and we appreciate you.”

Emily is one of many individuals who are in urgent need of blood; one donor can potentially save up to three lives from just one pint of blood.

The Red Cross has an urgent need for eligible blood donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood to give now to prevent an emergency situation. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to patients with any blood type. Types A negative and B negative can be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients. Individuals with these blood types are urged to make and keep donation appointments as soon as possible to help replenish the blood supply.

Platelet donors and those with type AB blood are also continually needed to help ensure the shelves are stocked for patients in need. Platelets – a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, surgical patients and bone marrow recipients – must be transfused within five days of donation, so donations are always needed. Donors with type AB blood are urgently needed to restock the plasma supply. Type AB donors have the universal plasma type, which can be given to patients of all blood types.

Plasma is often needed for burn, trauma and clotting deficiency patients. Plasma can be collected during a blood or platelet donation.

Everyone is encouraged to give blood or platelets to help patients like Emily and replenish the blood supply. For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org. Donors can also use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, which is free and available for download now. It can be found in app stores by searching for American Red Cross, visiting redcross.org/apps or redcrossblood.org/bloodapp, or by texting BLOODAPP to 90999 for a direct link to download.

If you would like to donate in the Gold Country Region, visit Delta Blood Bank for information of when and where to donate.

Red Cross Renews Memorandum of Agreement with FEMA

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The American Red Cross has renewed its Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The MOA is aimed at defining the overarching goals of the relationship between the two organizations. The Red Cross and FEMA last signed an MOA in 2010. The 2010 MOA focused on the collaboration between the two organizations in coordinating and delivering mass care services during disaster responses, and specifically on the Red Cross role as co-lead for mass care portion of Emergency Support Function-6, one of 15 Emergency Support Functions identified in the National Response Framework.

Since 2010, both FEMA and the Red Cross have enhanced their perspective to include all phases of the disaster cycle. In 2011, President Obama signed Presidential Policy Directive 8, which tasked FEMA with coordinating the production of National Planning Frameworks across the disaster cycle, including prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. In 2012, the Red Cross undertook a business process reengineering effort that resulted in alignment of its disaster preparedness, response, and recovery mission areas.

While the MOA still addresses the Red Cross co-lead role in Emergency Support Function-6, it also recognizes the important role the Red Cross plays in other Emergency Support Functions, Recovery Support Functions, and preparedness functions.

“This renewed MOA is a great reflection of Disaster Cycle Services and the goals and vision we set with re-engineering,” said Richard Reed, Senior Vice-President for Disaster Cycle Services.  “Working together with FEMA, we expanded our agreement to ensure our partnership covered the entire disaster cycle.  And we now have an agreement that is not only more strategic in nature but also speaks to the specifics of how our two organizations work together in preparedness, response and recovery.”

The MOA can be found on the Government MOU Index on The Exchange.  Contact the Emergency Management Coordination unit with questions.

What to Do If a Wildfire Threatens

Wildfires-Header-jpgWildfire season has been a year-round threat in California due to the extreme four-year drought. According to the National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC), almost 20 large fires are burning now and more than 100 new fires have been reported.

The American Red Cross is helping people impacted by several fires burning in the Golden State and offers safety tips on how to better protect yourself and your loved ones from a wildfire.

Currently, the Gold Country region alone has been operating two shelters in Trinity County due to the Mad River Complex Fires and the Fork Complex Fires.

WILDFIRE SAFETY

  • Learn about wildfire risks in your area or the region where you are planning to vacation.
  • Download the free Red Cross Emergency App to learn more about wildfires and set up alerts.
  • Talk with members of your household about wildfires – how to prevent them and what to do if one occurs.
  • Select a place for family members to meet outside your neighborhood in case you cannot get home or need to evacuate.
  • Identify someone who is out of the area to contact if local phone lines are not working.
  • Post emergency numbers by every phone, or enter them into your cell phones.
  • Make a plan and practice it. Plan and practice two ways out of your neighborhood or vacation area in case your primary route is blocked.
  • Firewood should be stacked at least 30 feet uphill from your home or camping spot. Clear combustible material within 20 ft. of the stack. Fire tends to travel uphill, so keep highly combustible firewood and other materials above your home or vacation area.

IF A WILDFIRE THREATENS

  • Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
  • Listen to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information.
  • Always back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape.
  • Confine pets to one room or spot so that you can find them if you need to evacuate quickly.
  • Arrange for temporary housing at a friend or relative’s home outside the threatened area.
  • Keep indoor air clean by closing windows and doors to prevent outside smoke from getting in.
  • Use the recycle or re-circulate mode on the air conditioner in your home or car.
  • When smoke levels are high, do not use anything that burns and adds to indoor air pollution, such as candles, fireplaces and gas stoves.

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP

The free Emergency App is highly customizable and informative with alerts, vital emergency information and a “Family Safe” feature to notify loved ones that an alert has been issued in their area and check to see if they are safe. Find it in your app store by searching for American Red Cross.

HOW TO HELP

Become a volunteer or make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your donations can help provide shelter for someone who has had to leave their home and food and water for them to eat. Help people affected by disasters like wildfires, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and countless other crises by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.