March was an active month for Red Cross North Jersey Region Disaster Services. Disaster Action Team volunteers responded to 34 local disasters such as home fires and provided emergency assistance to 113 families. During the month, the Red Cross assisted more than 326 people displaced from homes in towns like Ewing, Passaic, Somerville, Montclair, Mahwah, Jersey City, Paterson, Cliffside Park, Budd Lake, Edison and Ringoes.
“We are extremely grateful for our dedicated disaster volunteers who brave the bitter cold and inclement weather to provide assistance to those in need,” said Steven Sarinelli, regional disaster officer, American Red Cross North Jersey Region. “Their devotion and compassion are inspirational. I am proud of the excellent work our volunteers do every day.”
Every eight minutes, the American Red Cross responds to a disaster and most of these disasters are home fires. Red Cross Disaster Action Teams respond to disasters around the clock to provide emergency assistance including temporary lodging, food, clothing and emotional support.
There are steps you can take now to help protect yourself and your home from fire:
- Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home.
- Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Practice waking up to smoke alarms, low crawling and meeting outside. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
- Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.
- Talk to your children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Immediately install a new battery if an alarm chirps, warning the battery is low.
- Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
- Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
More than $65,000 in emergency assistance was provided to families affected by disasters in the North Jersey Region during the month of March.
All Red Cross disaster assistance is free to those in need because of the generous donations from people like you. Help your neighbors recover from disasters like home fires by making a donation to the Red Cross.
Become a Red Cross Volunteer. Join us and make a difference in your community!