Seniors Take Charge in their Community Installing Smoke Alarms

It’s about Time…

Two minutes, to be exact.

In this agonizingly short timeframe, a family can win or lose its fight to escape a home fire and the lethal smoke created by that fire.   One device can even the odds for a family:  tested, working smoke alarms.

Our golden age community members understand this; they know there’s never any time to waste so these seniors didn’t.

Partnering with the American Red Cross, they took matters into their own hands.  They knocked on doors, hauled ladders, drilled into walls, mounted alarms, replaced dead batteries, shared fire prevention tips, and documented their results in a smoke alarm installation campaign. In just four-days they saw 20% of their neighborhood homes equipped with brand new 10-year-battery smoke alarms.  The group visited more than 100 homes installing 225 alarms.

They were the disaster volunteers of Mobile County Club in Rancho Cordova who carried out the project with the support of their management and Home Owners Association.

Nothing stopped them, not even temperatures which topped 100 degrees.  Red Cross staff and volunteers, in some cases half the age of their clients, did their best to keep up.  “They set a pace we haven’t seen before,” said Myisha Aban, Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Manager. “These people are so resilient and delightful. I wish my grandmother lived here.”

Equally important, residents were given safety literature emphasizing the all-imperative escape plan, ensuring that a two-minute evacuation strategy would not fail due to blocked or inaccessible exits or pathways to safety unknown to anyone in the household.

Spearheading the charge was Antonio Martinez, HOA Treasurer and the tireless promoter of disaster preparedness for his community of mobile homes.  Tony initiated this project when he called the Red Cross inquiring for free vests.  Joining Tony were residents Bob Schroeder, Lyle Fellows, Bill Johnston, Darrill Sturgeon, Jorge (Chiqui) Nievies, Linda Martinez, Deborah Fieldson, and Irene Ferraro.

The group proved itself not only handy but tireless.  Keeping up with them (or trying to) were Veteran Red Cross volunteer Marcus Heningburg who oversaw Operations along with David Hansen, Todd and Terry Sanford, Isadora Marks, Reena Singh, and Patricia Davis, all of the American Red Cross.

Start to finish, the project was encouraged by Property Manager Leslie Gomez and Office Assistant Kelly Boughton; their support and hospitality contributed significantly to the event’s success.

The alarms and batteries were provided free of charge as benefits of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, a nationwide movement to cut by 25% and over a five-year period deaths from home fires.

Coast-to-coast, the fire service has supported the campaign and did so here.  On the first day, a ladder company from Sacramento Metropolitan Fire walked with volunteers and encouraged neighbors to join the movement at Mobile Country Club.

…because Tony and his friends aren’t done.

They’ve got more of that Park to cover.  And they will.

Given several factors, the Red Cross encourages all mobile home parks and their managements to consider a Home Fire Campaign for smoke alarm installation and community disaster education. For more information or to schedule installations visit our website: redcross.org/GoldCountry and click on Home Fire Campaign.

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Home Fire Campaign – Reaching Secluded Areas

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This past Saturday, February 6, 2016, Red Cross volunteers gathered around to knock on doors and help save lives at the Columbia Sky Mobile Home Park in Tuolumne County.

Together with the Tuolumne Fire Department about a dozen volunteers met on the brisk Saturday morning to participate in the first Home Fire Campaign canvassing event in that county.

The day could not have been better, even the deer were out to greet the volunteers and the Columbia mobile home park residents were friendly and receptive.

“All of the volunteers really enjoyed visiting with the seniors,” said Debbie Calcotte, Disaster Program Manager with the American Red Cross Gold Country Region.

In all, volunteers visited 39 homes and installed 51 smoke alarms.

“This was a great kick-off canvassing event for Tuolumne County,” said Lilly Wyatt, Communications Director. “But, we would not have been able to get in to talk to so many individuals and families if it wasn’t for the partnership and collaboration of the Tuolumne Fire Department.”

Anyone is encouraged to sign up and volunteer for future canvassing events across the 24-county Gold Country region of the American Red Cross. Training is provided.

“Today’s event was encouraging,” added JoLynn Miller, Red Cross volunteer. “We heard stories from the people we were visiting on how they actually support the Red Cross with donations and how grateful they were to the teams for being there today.”

The young fire cadets we’re also thrilled to talk to the community about how important fire safety was and help them with fire escape plans and routes.

Data shows that the 4% of homes without smoke alarms represent nearly 40% of the home fires, and that working smoke alarms can double someone’s chance of surviving a fire. That’s why, the American Red Cross is continuing the multi-year Home Fire Campaign, which aims to reduce home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent by the end of 2019.

  •  Installation teams have three goals:
    • Testing and installing smoke alarms and/or replacing batteries (as needed);
    • Educating the resident on fire safety and safety from other types of locally relevant disasters; and
    • Documenting installation information, including the services provided.

The Red Cross also is asking every household in America to join us in taking the two simple steps that can save lives: checking their existing smoke alarms and practicing fire drills at home.

We are in Sonora next Saturday.

Check our our Home Fire Campaign Album on Flickr with images from some of the canvassing events we’ve participated in. 🙂

 

Another Home Fire Campaign Success

The American Red Cross Gold Country Region volunteers, partners and ‘small’ staff are getting really good at this: the Home Fire Campaign.

This past Saturday, January 16, teams of volunteers went out to canvass neighborhoods in Woodland and Roseville to install smoke alarms and educate residents on their fire escape plan.

In Sacramento, our volunteers went out to homes that had made prior appointments for these installations. We had so much success during the event in December that people called our offices non-stop requesting smoke alarms!! Which is awesome by the way.

Well, without further ado, we want to share our success with you:

  • 58 installs in Woodland (Team Michelle and Daryl)
  • 39 in Sacramento (Team Patricia—-Scheduled appointments mostly—only 2 teams involved)
  • 96 in Roseville (Team Tami—Great coordination with Roseville fire)
  • Total for Smoke Alarms—193—Other numbers to follow……

 

A good day all the way around!

Check out all the pictures from this weekend’s effort, visit our Flickr Album:  http://rdcrss.org/1J1CgFw .

Join us! Help us save lives on December 5!

20150502_123839Join the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign on December 4th and 5th for our Goal: 1000 Smoke Alarm Installation Event!

Here are some important details:

December 4th will be a pre-canvass event where volunteers will be placing door hangers to inform residents in 17 predetermined neighborhoods in Sacramento about the smoke alarm installation event on December 5.

December 5th will be the Goal 1000 event where each volunteer will be placed into groups of four which will consist of one Red Cross volunteer who will be an educator, one document-er, and two installers.

Sign up to be one of the volunteers that can help save someone’s life.

Red Cross member volunteers go to www.redcross.org/volunteerconnection (Go to: My Shifts, Special Events, December)

Non-Red Cross volunteers simply go to pre-register at http://bit.ly/Goal1000 and fill out the form for the day (or days) that you wish to sign up for.

Thank you for helping to make a difference!  All volunteers must pre-register by Friday, November 20. No walk-in volunteering is available.

The Home Fire Preparedness Campaign aims to reduce the total number of home fire related deaths and injuries by 25% by 2020.

In One Year: Red Cross and Partners Save 26 Lives, Install Smoke Alarms in all 50 States

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In just one year, the American Red Cross’ nationwide Home Fire Campaign is credited with saving at least 28 lives.

More than 63,000 families are safer thanks to the smoke alarms and safety education they received in their homes from Red Cross volunteers, firefighters and other community partners. And more than 311,000 children have learned to be safer in emergencies from Red Cross volunteers and apps.

“In this country, seven people lose their lives every day from a home fire,” said Lilly Wyatt, Spokesperson for the American Red Cross Gold Country Region.  “Even one death from a home fire is tragic. Over the next few years, the Home Fire Campaign will keep on going to help protect people and prepare them for emergencies like a fire in their home.”

Here in the Gold Country Region, the Red Cross and its partners achieved the following in this first year of the Home Fire Campaign:
·         Conducted 2,235 in-home visits.

·         Installed more than 1,192 smoke alarms.

·         Replaces 348 smoke alarm batteries.

·         Created 839 evacuation plans.

·         Reached XXX youth with preparedness information.

·         Visited 27 cities and towns in our region.

NATIONWIDE EFFORT

People of all ages are vulnerable to home fires. During the course of this campaign, the lives saved included a two-month-old baby, a 73-year-old grandmother, and 11 members of an extended New Orleans family by new smoke alarms that the Red Cross and our partners installed.

The Home Fire Campaign is a multi-year effort to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent. Working alongside fire departments and community groups across the country, the Red Cross and its partners have installed more than 125,000 smoke alarms in nearly 2,400 cities and towns.

Launched across the country in October 2014, the Red Cross and more than 1,900 local partners and 40 national partners have:

  • Saved 26 lives in six states (Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Louisiana, South Dakota and Texas)
  • Installed more than 125,000 smoke alarms in nearly 2,400 cities and towns
  • Reached more than 485,000 people with safety information, including more than 311,000 youth
  • Visited more than 63,000 homes 50 states and 3 territories

Key supporters include: local fire departments, state fire marshals, International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC); Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); United States Fire Administration (USFA); National Fire Protection Association (NFPA); 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.

TWO MINUTES TO ESCAPE

It is estimated that someone may have only two minutes to get out after a fire starts in their home. As part of the campaign, the Red Cross is also asking every household in America to take two simple steps that can save lives: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home. Every family should develop a fire escape plan, and practice it.

GET INVOLVED 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 find out about smoke alarm installation events in their community. 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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Show Us How YOU are Ready for El Niño – CONTEST TIME!

ElNinoWebEl Niño Preparedness Contest

The saying goes… “There’s calm after the storm”… but in California… not so much.

We’ve been in serious drought for almost five years, had two of the most destructive wildfires in our state’s history last month, and el Niño 2015 is expected to rival the mighty 1997 event that led to severe flooding, tornadoes and other extreme weather across the U.S.  In fact, the 2015 event may be among the strongest on record.

The Red Cross is known to respond to disasters, but we also are in the business of preparedness. Now is an important time to gather and plan ahead… just follow our Be Red Cross Ready – Flood Safety Checklist.

To make this preparedness time even better! We’re creating a contest.

  • Share your ‘Family Preparedness Plan’with us!
    • Send us a 1-2 minute video that explains your family’s preparedness plan, show us your kit and explain your evacuation strategy.
      • If you are not into videos… not to worry! Send us an email and explain the above in a couple of sentences (don’t forget to attach a picture of your family with your kit!)
    • Upload the video on our Facebook page – Facebook.com/RCSierraDelta.
    • If you are the winner, you could win a Red Cross Backpack or a PetFirst Aid Kit!Prizes
  • Two winners will be selected by end of business thisFriday, October 30 by 5:00pm.

Winners will be selected based on the number of entries received… all names will be entered into a hat and two names will be pulled by a Red Cross staff or volunteer.

Good luck and happy preparedness time!

“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.