Remembering 9/11 and Preparing for Future Disasters

September 11, 2014

September 11- Photo actual

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, were aseminal moment for our nation, as one of the worst days in American history also brought out the very best of the American spirit.

People from across the country came forward with donations of time, blood and money to support the victims and survivors of the attacks. Together, we responded, recovered and rebuilt.

As America marks the 13th anniversary of the attacks, we should remember the victims, honor the brave responders and renew our commitment to help our families and communities prepare.

It should also remind us that the unimaginable can, in fact, occur, and that we all must do more to prepare our families and make our communities ready for human-caused and natural disasters of all kinds and sizes.

No one was prepared for the events of 9/11 or for the lengthy disruptions the attacks caused across our nation. We must do more to prepare our families and make our communities ready for disasters.

A prepared nation has every person, business, school, organization and house of worship ready to take care of themselves and their neighbors.

• Families should plan how to deal with the kinds of disasters that are most likely to
occur where they live, what to do if family members are separated, and how they can be informed before, during and after a disaster. At least one member of every family should be trained in CPR and first aid.

• Businesses, schools and organizations should have proper safety and emergency supplies on hand, as well as staff trained in CPR and first aid. Businesses need to plan on how they will continue to operate in a disaster, and work to ensure their employees are prepared at home so they can return to work as soon as possible after an emergency.

To help prepare the nation, the Red Cross has developed readiness programs to help people and businesses and given thousands of presentations on preparedness across the country.

While we don’t know where or when, we do know that large disasters will strike America again, and that preparedness steps taken today can save lives and livelihoods
tomorrow. September 11, 2001, was an unforgettable day, but even as we look back and remember the victims, we also should look ahead with a renewed commitment to be prepared for the future.

American Red Cross Nurse Assistant Training

July 29, 2014
Starting from left: Madelyn Sifford, Lindsey Maners, Marrianna Crisco are recent graduates of the American Red Cross Nurse Assistant Training

Starting from left, recent graduates: Madelyn Sifford, Lindsey Maners, Marrianna Crisco

We recently celebrated a graduating class of the American Red Cross Nurse Assistant Training in the Greater Carolina Chapter!

With American Red Cross Nurse Assistant Training (NAT), students master the academic and social skills necessary to be a successful Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA). The program offers comprehensive classroom and hands-on clinical/lab experience that prepares students for the certification test, administered by the North Carolina Board of Nursing. Students will also boost their self-esteem and gain new-found independence. As a Red Cross nurse assistant, they’ll be an important part of a health care team that works together to provide compassionate care for nursing home residents and patients. It’s a job where they make a difference by contributing to their community.

Exceeding national and state guidelines, the four-week Monday through Friday program prepares students for certification by the North Carolina Board of Nursing and incorporates not only nursing skills but life and career skills as well. Red Cross is proud to have one of the country’s best Nurse Assistant trainings. Read the following for testimonies of recent graduates of the program.

Madelyn Sifford
“I wanted to attend the NAT program class in order to meet my nursing school requirements and gain experience as a CNA throughout my two years in nursing school. At first, I was very nervous at remembering and performing skills, such as taking blood pressure. But my instructor comforted me and coached me throughout the process. Even though I faced financial barriers and difficulties to participate in the NAT program, I achieved the requirements to attend nursing school, which will provide better opportunities for my family. I will use my certification to continue my education in nursing school to become a Registered Nurse.”

Lindsey Maners
“I wanted to attend the program to become a CNA and work directly with patients or residents before I attend Physician Assistant school. I chose the Red Cross NAT program because I thought it would provide the best education possible. I learned that although many of the tasks are difficult and not very glamorous, they are very rewarding in that you are helping other have a better life. I received the $1000 Walmart scholarship, which helped me participate in the NAT program. I was able to achieve my goal of getting a foot in the medical field. I hope to become a PA, so becoming a CNA is a great first step. Upon graduation, I have plans to work as a CNA in assisted living facility and am hoping to attend PA school at Wingate University.”

Marrianna Crisco
“I have always loved helping people, which is why I chose to attend NAT classes. I had many fears of choosing this medical career, including losing a resident. Through this program, I was able to overcome this fear by becoming more informed on the subject. I am now even more passionate about caring for others. I hope to use my certification to obtain a job in this field. Learning CNA through the Red Cross was an honor. The instructors and nurses I was able to learn from are truly the best.”

To register or for questions, contact Ann Holt at 704.864.2623, ext. 11 or

Urgent Need for Blood and Platelet Donors

July 23, 2014

The American Red Cross is facing a looming blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give. Donations were down approximately 8 percent over the last 11 weeks, resulting in about 80,000 fewer donations than expected.

Platelet donors and blood donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative are especially needed. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to anyone who needs blood. Types A negative and B negative can be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients.

With schools out of session and many regular donors busy or on vacation – it’s important to remember that patients don’t get a break from needing blood – the need is constant.

Therefore, we invited you to share your good health! Please roll up a sleeve and give blood for patients in need and help prevent an emergency shortage. For more information or to find a nearby donation opportunity, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

American Red Cross Recognizes a Lifelong Volunteer: Mary Holland

July 21, 2014
Mary Holland, a former Red Cross volunteer nurse, from Gastonia, North Carolina

Mary Holland, a former Red Cross volunteer nurse, from Gastonia, North Carolina

As a young girl, Holland’s parents passed away, and from then on, she was guided and influenced by her friends throughout her life. Holland graduated in 1955 as a registered nurse and has worked in this profession for 49.5 years. Her passion of being a nurse stemmed from the memory of a great friend who went to the Army and wanted Holland to go with her. At the advice of her other friends, she ended up going to Red Cross school to become a nurse instead. For Holland, being a part of the Red Cross family means wanting to help people and having the opportunity to travel all over the world helping others, which is a part of what she loves about her position.

Holland was a visiting nurse with the Red Cross for 4 years and she takes her job very seriously, never missing a day of work. “You can’t be playing around; it is a serious thing and you have to learn your lessons. Being a Red Cross Nurse, you must be prepared to load up and go at a moment’s notice to wherever there is a disaster,” Holland said. “As a visiting nurse, when you travel you must be properly dressed and ready for anything to happen because anything can happen.” Holland has had patients she had to treat every day after they were burned by a fire. “It is important to help those people and keep them warm. The nurses have to learn to work fast. If you see someone in trouble, run and work fast,” Holland explained. The main mission during a disaster is to keep people alive.

If anything happens, nurses must be willing to go and do their best. “You have to be serious about your work. If you aren’t going to be serious, you won’t learn anything. Follow the nursing oath and read the Red Cross nursing book multiple times to make sure you understand. It is important to learn their lessons so it becomes natural and they know what to do. You have to realize that you have that person’s life in your hands,” Holland said in regards to the students.

It is also important to motivate the students and let them know the significance of being able to work fast, taking the job seriously at all times, and remaining kind to all those they help because lives are in their hands. Holland’s advice for the students is “Be truthful, be honest. If you don’t know the work, get help from the Charge Nurse. The Red Cross is all over and they will help you.”

“It is awesome to be a nurse,” Holland said. “To be the best, put all you’ve got in to it. People are depending on you. You are the one to take care of them.” The work of a nurse is challenging but rewarding as lives are constantly saved every day.

The Nurse Assistant Training Class is a four-week 136-hour curriculum that provides students comprehensive classroom and hands-on clinical/lab experience to prepare them for certification by the North Carolina Board of Nursing.

To register for the next scheduled class, which starts on August 5th, contact Ann Holt at 704.864.2623, ext.11 or

Red Cross Encourages Everyone to Make Water Safety a Priority This Summer

July 1, 2014

water safety

There are only a couple more days till the 4th of July! As we gear up for trips near the water, the Red Cross encourages adults to make water safety a priority this summer.  A recent Red Cross survey found that 8 out of 10 Americans are planning water activities such as going to the beach, pool, water park, boating, or fishing this summer. A third of all Americans plan to swim at a place without a lifeguard. Families need to make sure that both adults and children have the knowledge and skills they need to be safe in and around the water.

“The Red Cross wants everyone to have fun this Fourth of July weekend, and we have several ways people can stay safe while enjoying their holiday,” said Angela A. Broome, regional chief executive officer for the American Red Cross Carolina Piedmont Region.

  • Remember to check water and weather conditions before your trip and frequently during your stay.
  • Watch for signs of severe weather and leave the water at the first indication of thunder and lightning.
  • Be aware of the danger of rip currents. If caught in one, swim parallel to the shore until out of the current. When free, turn and swim toward shore. If unable to swim to the shore, call out for help, float or tread water until free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
  • Always swim with a buddy and always swim sober.
  • Swim only in areas that are designated for swimming with buoy and ropes and are supervised by lifeguards.
  • Keep children under constant and active supervision and remain free from distractions.
  • Young children and inexperience swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • Everyone should enter the water feet first if they can’t see the bottom or don’t know how deep the water is.
  • Limit the amount of direct sunlight received between 10:00am and 4:00pm, and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15. Reapply often.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water regularly, even if not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.

Be sure to also download the  FREE SWIM AND FIRST AID APPS by Red Cross.

Swim App users can learn water safety and drowning prevention information for a variety of aquatic environments. Children can have fun learning water safety tips with the child-friendly videos and quizzes in the app. The First Aid App puts expert advice for everyday emergencies at your fingertips. The apps are available for smart phones and tablets and can be downloaded from the Apple or Google Play for Android app stores. The Swim App is also available in the Amazon Kindle Store.

Red Cross Issues Top 4th of July Safety Steps

June 25, 2014

It’s almost time for the long Fourth of July weekend! As many people will be firing up the backyard grill, traveling, or enjoying fireworks, the American Red Cross offers a series of steps everyone can follow to safely enjoy the holiday weekend.

“Everyone looks forward to having fun over the Fourth of July, and the Red Cross offers a series of steps everyone can follow to safely enjoy the holiday weekend”, said Angela A. Broome, regional chief executive officer for the American Red Cross Carolina Piedmont Region.

GRILLING SAFETY Every year people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills. Here are several steps to safely cook up treats for the backyard barbecue:
1. Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
2. Never grill indoors – not in the house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
3. Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
4. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
5. Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.

HIGHWAY SAFETY Millions of people will be on the highways over the Fourth of July weekend. The Red Cross offers these five things everyone should do to stay safe while traveling:
1. Buckle seat belts, observe speed limits.
2. Do not drink and drive.
3. Pay full attention to the road – don’t use a cell phone to call or text.
4. Use caution in work zones.
5. Clean the vehicle’s lights and windows to help the driver see, especially at night. Turn the headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather.

FIREWORKS SAFETY The best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Here are five safety steps for people setting fireworks off at home:
1. Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
2. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
3. Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
4. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
5. Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.

Be sure to also download the FREE RED CROSS FIRST AID APP that puts expert advice for everyday emergencies at your fingertrips. The app is available for smart phones and tablets and can be downloaded from the Apple or Google Play for Android app stores.

Preparing to Feed Thousands After a Natural Disaster

June 25, 2014

In the event of a natural disaster hitting the Tar Heel State, Johnson & Wales University, a world-renowned culinary institution, Subway® restuarants of North Carolina and the American Red Cross have joined forces to provide meals for victims.  Inside the JWU Charlotte Campus culinary labs last Thursday morning, JWU students and employees and Red Cross staff and volunteers conducted an emergency food preparedness drill. Over 550 meals were boxed, each consisted of Subway 6-inch sandwiches, cookies, bottled water, and other items. Following the drill, the boxed meals were delivered to the Charlotte Rescue Mission.

“Charlotte is an ideal stating area due to its central location and our ability to reach natural disaster victims anywhere in the state within four to five hours,” said Angela A. Broome, regional chief executive officer of the American Red Cross Piedmont Region. The Red Cross estimates a minimum need of 3,000 meals required to feed victims and first responders after a natural disaster.

The drill was conducted in real-time, from transporting and unloading items at the JWU campus, baking the bread and cookies, preparing and making the sandwiches, assembling 550-boxed meals and finally reloading of trucks. All food items, meal prepartation and assembly, transportation and other support items were donated by numerous culinary franchisee and companies.

“We hope the call from the Red Cross never comes, but if they require our services, we will be there as will our partners in this incredible project,” said Melinda Westmoreland, JWU Communications & Media Relations Manager. This was the second time an emergency food preparedness drill was conducted.


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