Volunteers from the American Red Cross responded to three separate fires in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties Tuesday, February 3, providing immediate emergency assistance to 13 people. Red Cross assistance typically includes vouchers for temporary housing, food and clothing as needed, and Disaster Mental Health volunteers are available to help with the emotional aspect of disaster. Those affected will meet with caseworkers in the coming days to work on a longer-term recovery plan.
Disaster Action Team (DAT) members Kathy Burch and Susie Folts provided immediate emergency assistance for two adults after a fire in Olean. DAT volunteers Alli Bowman and Ned Lindstrom helped four adults and four children after a fire in Jamestown Tuesday, and volunteers Joan and Roy Fletcher assisted three people after a fire in Ripley.
Last year, the American Red Cross helped more people affected by home fires than all other disasters combined. Volunteers from the Western and Central New York Region responded at all hours of the day to help more than 3,380 people with nowhere else to turn after home fires from January 1 to December 1, 2014.
Because of the high number of home fires in this country, the Red Cross launched a campaign this year to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent over the next five years. The organization is asking every household in America to take two simple steps: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home. As part of the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, the Red Cross is providing smoke detectors to residents free of charge.
In addition to the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, the Red Cross is also partnering with New York State to offer free Citizen Preparedness Corps Training. A trained Red Cross representative will provide a comprehensive overview on how to prepare for, respond to and recover from natural and man-made disasters. A 15-minute online version of this program is also available at http://prepare.ny.gov/online-citizen-preparedness-training (select Red Cross from the referral dropdown menu).
For more information on the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign or to schedule an in-person Citizen Preparedness Corps training, please contact Individual and Community Preparedness Specialist Veronica Chiesi Brown at 585-241-4405 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our work is made possible by the generosity of the American public. You can help people affected by disasters big and small by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables us to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters. You can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your donation helps provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.