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Red Cross Responds to Tragic Fire in West Seneca

OKC family speaks with Red Cross volunteer
Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy

American Red Cross volunteers Diane Sargent and Rachelle Uschold responded to a fire on Dirkson Avenue in West Seneca Monday morning, providing food and temporary housing for one person.  Specially trained Disaster Mental Health volunteers are available to help the survivors deal with the emotional aspect of this tragedy, and they will meet with caseworkers in the coming days to work on a longer-term recovery plan. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy.


The American Red Cross has launched an initiative to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent over the next five years. The Red Cross 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 joining with fire departments and community groups nationwide to install free smoke detectors in homes that need them. To schedule an installation, please contact PearlieMae Hargro at or 716-878-2356.


To support home fire survivors across the country, the American Red Cross has launched a new social media campaign called #GiveWhatFireTakes. Donors nationwide have the opportunity to support Red Cross relief efforts. For every amount raised, the Red Cross is able to provide not only recovery items for home fire survivors, but also critical fire safety training and smoke alarm installations to help prevent deaths and injuries. Visit our Crowdwise campaign page, make a direct donation on and share what moved you to join the campaign on social media with #GiveWhatFireTakes.


FLOODING PREPS As temperatures begin to rise, Red Cross staff and volunteers are preparing to meet community needs in case of potential flooding in the coming weeks. Residents are urged to put together an emergency preparedness kit in case of evacuation, including:

·         At least a 3-day supply of water and non-perishable food

·         First Aid kit

·         Medications

·         Personal hygiene items

·         Copies of personal documents

·         Cell phone and chargers

·         Family and emergency contact information


If a flood warning is issued, residents should head for higher ground and stay there. Stay away from flood waters; six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep a person off their feet. Do not drive on flooded roads; most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water. Download the free Red Cross Flood App from iTunes or Google Play for safety tips and real time weather warnings. Additional flood safety and emergency preparedness information is available at


CITIZEN PREPAREDNESS CORPS: In partnership with New York State, the Red Cross is offering free Citizen Preparedness Corps Training. At each approximately one-hour session, 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, including home fires and flooding. Anyone attending an in-person session between now and the end of March will be entered into a drawing to win a free generator. To schedule a free training at your school, business or organization, please contact David Dodge at or 585-343-6098. A 15-minute online version of Citizen Preparedness Corp program is also available at  (select Red Cross from the referral dropdown menu).