Turn and Test for Daylight Saving Time

March 5, 2015

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Turn clocks ahead and test smoke detectors.

Daylight Saving Time kicks in at 2:00 a.m. Sunday, and the American Red Cross has a reminder for households across the country: TURN your clocks ahead one hour, and TEST your smoke alarms.
CHECK YOUR SMOKE ALARM BATTERIES When you turn the clocks ahead, take a few minutes to replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and push the test button to make sure the alarms are working. It’s also a great time to check your carbon monoxide detectors.

HOW CAN I MAINTAIN SMOKE ALARMS? Smoke alarms save lives. You should:
• Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
• Check monthly that smoke alarms are working properly by pushing the test button.
• Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year.
• Replace smoke alarms every ten years.

AM I READY IF A FIRE OCCURS? In addition to checking and replacing smoke alarm batteries, households should take a second important step in fire safety. Planning for fire emergencies is important, so all families should practice fire drills at home.

Make sure all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home, and set up a meeting place outside in case of a fire. Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year and at different times of the day.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.


Red Cross Volunteers Go Door–to–Door to Raise Fire Safety Awareness Over the MLK Holiday Weekend

January 25, 2015

With home fires as the biggest disaster threat facing families, the American Red Cross (Red Cross) volunteers and staff members pounded the pavement with partners, HOPE Worldwide Charlotte Volunteers, in high risk neighborhoods to inform families how to be appropriately prepared in the event of a  home fire.  The fire safety information included creating a household fire escape plan and tips for cooking and heating a home safely this winter. Additionally, safety information was left for families who were not home or unavailable.

When smoke alarms are installed in the optimal locations, they can be vital to protecting families and homes against fatal fires. There should be a functioning smoke alarm on every level of the home (including the basement), in the hallway outside a group of bedrooms and/or inside bedrooms, on the ceiling at the bottom of stairways, and/or in the living room/family room.

The Red Cross participates in home fire preparedness and responsiveness because home fires are actually preventable. Fires in the home happen almost instantly and can devastate lives and homes in merely minutes. Home fires leave families with nearly nothing and nowhere to go. On average, seven people die each day from a home fire. Once a merciless fire begins in the home, families have a meagre two minutes to evacuate. For that reason, it is exceedingly important to discuss a fire evacuation plan with your family.

To be more prepared in the face of a home fire emergency, visit redcross.org/prepare/disaster/home-fire.


Red Cross calls for blood donors as unique as the patients they help

January 22, 2015

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In honor of Black History Month this February, and in the spirit of Dr. Charles Drew, an African-American surgeon who was the first medical director of the American Red Cross and a modern blood-banking pioneer, eligible donors as diverse as the patients who need their blood donations are encouraged to give blood to ensure a sufficient blood supply.
Blood from a donor with a similar ethnic background as that of the patient is less likely to cause complications, particularly for those patients whose chronic conditions require repeated transfusions. Sickle cell disease is one such chronic condition affecting as many as 100,000 people in the United States.
Prior to transfusion, blood type and Rh factor are matched between donated blood and the patient in need. In some cases, additional red cell markers in donated blood must be matched, as well. These markers are best found in blood from donors of a similar ethnicity.
With seasonal flu and inclement winter weather preventing many regular donors from giving, the Red Cross urges healthy, eligible donors to make an appointment to donate blood in the coming days and weeks. All blood types are currently needed to help maintain a diverse and sufficient blood supply, especially types O negative, A negative and B negative.
To learn more about donating blood and to schedule an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:
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Get CPR Certified for the Holidays

December 5, 2014

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During the holidays, one in four people will be in a situation where live saving skills such as CPR are required. Are you the one in four who is capable of administering CPR to save the life of a friend or family member?

CPR can save lives when administered properly and immediately to sudden cardiac arrest victims. The life you save with CPR is most likely to be someone you love or know. This alarming statistic could hit close to home, because home is exactly where 88 percent of cardiac arrests occur.

During a cardiac emergency, 70 percent of Americans may feel helpless to act because they either do not know how to administer CPR or their training has significantly lapsed. Because of this, the Red Cross CPR Certifications are valid for only two years. So every two years, people who are CPR Certified must renew their certification.

To register for a class in your community, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcross.org/takeaclass.


Blood donations bring hope during the holidays

November 20, 2014

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The holiday season is a time for people to reflect on what makes them grateful. Family, friends and good health come to mind for many. However, countless patients strive for good health during the holidays, oftentimes in a hospital room, away from family and friends.

The American Red Cross asks eligible donors to make an appointment to give blood and bring hope to patients in need this holiday season. Holiday activities make it difficult for many regular donors to give blood during the holiday season, but patients still depend on lifesaving donations every day. All types are currently needed, especially O negative, A negative and B negative.

As a token of thanks from the Red Cross, presenting blood donors from Nov. 26 through Nov. 30 will receive a limited-edition Red Cross potholder stuffed with unique celebrity chef recipes, while supplies last. Thanksgiving recipes are courtesy of Mario Batali, Rocco DiSpirito, Alex Guarnaschelli and Mike Isabella.

Make an appointment to give something that means something this holiday season, by downloading the Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).


Holiday Season Guidelines

November 18, 2014

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During the holiday season, food is typically the center piece of every occasion; and this is why the number of choking occurrences increase.

Choking

• Choking kills more than 3,000 people each year, according to the American Red Cross, and is the eighth leading cause of unintentional injury deaths.

• Foods are responsible for most choking incidents.

• If you were at a holiday social or at a family dinner, would you be able to recognize the signs of someone choking? If you noticed, would you know what to do next?

• Time is critical for a choking victim. Without oxygen, the brain begins to die within 4-6 minutes.

• The good news is that virtually anyone can learn how to help a choking victim. By knowing what to do, you can step in during an emergency situation and perform a lifesaving act of kindness.

• If the object remains lodged and the person doesn’t respond after you take all the measures, the chest compressions used in CPR may help to dislodge the object.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

• CPR can save lives when given properly and immediately to the victims. This is a lifesaving technique useful in many emergencies, including heart attack or near drowning, in which someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped.

• The life you save with CPR is most likely to be someone you love or know. Incidents could hit close to home, because home is exactly where eighty eight percent of cardiac arrests occur.

• Do feel secure in administering CPR? Seventy Percent of Americans may feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency because they either do not know how to administer CPR or their training has significantly lapsed. Because of this, the Red Cross CPR Certifications are valid for only two years. So every two years, people who are CPR Certified must renew their certification.

To register for a class call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcross.org/takeaclass


November 14, 2014

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Cold weather has made its landfall in the Carolinas. Say goodbye to the warm weather as winter is upon us. The next couple of weeks the average temperature will be in the 40s and 50s with some day’s lows dropping below freezing. The American Red Cross wants to make sure that everyone remains safe during these cold days.

Below are safety tips to protect you, your family, your pets, and your home:•Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will prevent losing your body heat
•Protect your pipes- run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet to allow warmer air to circulate around plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of reach of children. Keep the garage door closed if there are water lines in the garage
•Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.
•Download American Red Cross First Aid App for quick, expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available on the Apple iTunes or Google play stores
•Bring your pets inside during cold weather
•Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure they have non frozen drinking water.
•If animals are outside, make sure their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles

With cold weather, the number of home fires often rises. To protect your family from home fires be aware of the following:

•Have wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys and furnaces professionally inspected once a year
•Never use a stove or oven to heat the home
•Never leave portable heaters or fireplaces unattended
•Turn off space heaters or extinguish the fireplace before going to bed or leaving the home
•Place a space heater on a hard, level, nonflammable surface. Do not put space heaters on rugs or carpets, near bedding or drapes, and keep children and pets away. Look for a space heater model that shuts off automatically if the heater falls over
•When using a fireplace, use a glass or metal screen large enough to catch sparks or rolling logs, and keep the fire in the fireplace
•Keep all flammable materials such as newspapers, matches, bedding, clothing, carpets and rugs at least three feet from heat sources such as space heaters, fireplaces, and stoves

Smoke alarms save lives. People should:

•Install smoke alarms on every level of their home, inside bedrooms, and outside sleeping areas
•Check monthly that smoke alarms are working properly by pushing the test button
•Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year
•Replace smoke alarms every ten years

The Red Cross has series of mobile apps – it puts help right in your hand. To download visit, Apple iTunes or Google play store.


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