Red Cross to share fire safety message on MLK Day Of Caring

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Volunteers canvassing Harrisburg, Lancaster, Tork, Carlisle & Myerstown to prevent fires



Red Cross to share Fire Safety message on MLK Day Of Caring


Harrisburg PA( January 17, 2014) – American Red Cross volunteers will be educating communities on fire safety and emergency planning this weekend as a part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. I n partnership with HOPE worldwide, Red Cross volunteers in more than 35 cities will canvass neighborhoods, talk with residents and hand out door hangers on fire prevention, the importance of maintaining working smoke alarms and tips for creating an emergency plan.


Five of these cities will be in Central Pennsylvania:

  • Harrisburg. Volunteers will be starting at Harrisburg Church of the Brethren at 219 Hummel St, Harrisburg, PA 17104.  The Girl Scouts will assist with the canvassing of Rudy Road to Berryhill street area as well as some of the roads on Derry St
  • Lancaster. Volunteers will be starting at St. Joseph's Church on 440 St. Joseph's Street, canvassing the area between Manor St and Union St.  Some United Way members and some members of the Code Red Club of Elizabethtown College will be assisting. 
  • Carlisle.  Red Cross volunteers will be meeting at the local chapter, 79 E. Pomfret Street, Carlisle, to begin canvassing at N Orange Street to Redwood Drive, to W North Street
  • Myerstown in Lebanon County. Red Cross volunteers will meet at 11 Washington Avenue and will be canvassing from Washington Avneue, down S. Cherry St and S College St
  • York. Red Cross Disaster Volunteers and Red Cross Club (youth) members will meet at the Madison Church of the Brethren, 645 Madison Avenue.  They are canvassing multiple areas in York, including Madison and Linden Ave.

This project coincides with the American Red Cross Serving Central Pennsylvania’s “Fire Hurts. Red Cross Helps” campaign to encourage the community to be aware of the risk of home fires and learn about and support the Red Cross’s role in helping those affected by this disaster. Home fires are the biggest disaster threat Americans face. During the winter months, there is a dramatic upswing in the number of fires that plague Central Pennsylvania families. In one week this month in Central PA, the American Red Cross responded to 33 fires, far exceeding the year-round average of eight fires per week.


“The American Red Cross responds to about 70,000 disasters every year—and more than 90 percent are fire-related,” said Jim Starr, vice president of Volunteer Management for the Red Cross. “In the spirit of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, Red Cross volunteers will go door-to-door to personally talk with residents about how they can prevent home fires and create an emergency plan.”


Only 43 percent of American families have an established household emergency plan, according to a recent FEMA report. In addition, while an out-of-town emergency contact person can be vital in helping people reconnect with loved ones or find temporary shelter during an emergency, less than one in three Americans—only 32 percent—have identified an out-of-town emergency contact.


 This is the seventh year the Red Cross and HOPE worldwide have joined forces to mark the MLK holiday with a disaster preparedness service project.

In September, FEMA honored the Red Cross and HOPE worldwide with a 2013 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Honorable Mention for their efforts to spread fire prevention and preparedness messages over the 2012 and 2013 MLK service days and the National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11, 2012. Through these three events, 16,000 volunteers reached 349,000 households and held 58,000 conversations about fire safety and prevention.


People seeking additional information on fire safety and creating an emergency plan, should go to



About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at