Fire Hurts!

Red Cross workers responding to a fire
Red Cross volunteers always follow-up with families to assist them on the road to recovery.

During January, the NEPA Region of the Red Cross assisted 57 families, 176 people, who were displaced from their homes due to 50 separate disasters, primarily home fires. The American Red Cross was there to assist the families with food, shelter, clothing, medications and comfort kits as well as stuffed animals and coloring books for children. Red Cross volunteers always follow-up with families to assist them on the road to recovery. Locally, the Red Cross also provided canteen services, offering food and drink and a place for respite, for emergency personnel during 4 emergency responses since January 1.

This is the second month in a row of high response. During December, the Red Cross responded to 28 disasters, caring for 38 families. The cold winter months often see high numbers of home fires and the Red Cross urges residents to take measures to protect their families from fire.

• Learn how to install and maintain smoke alarms to help protect your loved ones.

• When a smoke alarm goes off, will your family know how to escape? Plan and practice fire escape routes – ideally, two exits from every room.

• Make sure your emergency escape plans include the most vulnerable members of your household: children and pets.

• Additional fire safety tips may be found at http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/prevent-home-fires.

You can help people affected by disasters like floods, fires, tornadoes and hurricanes, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS, (1-800-733-2767). Contributions may also be sent to the American Red Cross, Northeast Pennsylvania Region, 2200 Avenue A, Bethlehem, PA 18017, or any one of the local Red Cross chapters.

Northeast PA Region Red Cross chapters and contact information:

Janet Curtis

Executive Director

Berks, Schuylkill

Office: (610) 375-4383, ext. 121

Cell: (570) 789-3659

Carmon Flynn

Executive Director

Lackawanna, Bradford-Sullivan,

Susquehanna and Wyoming Counties

Office: (570) 207-0111

Cell: (570) 290-0797

Rita Inklovich

Executive Director

Danville Area, Bloomsburg, Greater Berwick

Office: (570) 784-1395

Cell: (570) 594-3217

Jim Rienhardt

Executive Director

Poconos, Wayne Pike

Office: (570) 476-3800

Cell: (570) 234-9444

Sherry N. Williams

Executive Director

Wyoming Valley, Hazleton

Office: (570) 823-7161, ext. 325

Cell: (570) 417-5608

Polly Patterson

Interim Regional CEO

Greater Lehigh Valley

Office: (610) 865-4400, ext. 236

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 join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.