American Red Cross of Illinois volunteers responded to 4 home fires in Central Illinois from February 28 through today. Volunteers responded to incidents in Champaign, Normal and Peoria.
During this past week, the Red Cross provided assistance to 20 individuals, including 12 adults and 8 children with emergency financial assistance, food, relief items like toiletries, health and mental health services, and one-on-one support to connect people to available recovery assistance.
If you or someone you know needs assistance after a home fire or local disaster, please call our dispatch line: (877) 597-0747.
Daylight saving time – “Turn and Test”
Daylight saving time begins this Sunday, March 13, and the Red Cross reminds you to turn your clocks forward one hour and test your smoke alarms. Working smoke alarms can cut the risk of dying in a home fire by 50 percent. It is critical to “Turn and Test” to help stay safe from home fires – the nation’s most frequent disaster.
Home fires are the nation’s most frequent disaster. Help keep your family safe by testing your smoke alarms and practicing your two-minute home fire escape drill – the amount of time experts say you may have to get out before it’s too late. Include at least two ways to get out from every room and select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone knows where to meet.
Teach children what a smoke alarm sounds like and talk about fire safety and what to do in an emergency. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. Test alarms monthly and replace the batteries at least once a year if your model requires it. Replace smoke alarms that are 10 years or older; the sensor becomes less sensitive over time. Check the date of your smoke alarms and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Visit redcross.org/fire for information on setting up your home fire escape drill and to learn more about home fire safety. Download our free Emergency app by searching for “American Red Cross” in app stores or visiting redcross.org/apps. Free resources are available at redcross.org/youthprep to help children learn what to do during a home fire and other emergencies.
90% of the Red Cross workforce are volunteers. You can make a difference in the lives of others when you give your time and talents as a Red Cross volunteer. Local disaster response volunteers provide comfort and assistance to individuals who have been impacted by home fires and other disasters. Please visit redcross.org/volunteer to learn more and apply to become a volunteer.
Make an appointment to give blood or platelets by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control. Additional precautions including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.
Save time during donation
Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at redcrossblood.org/rapidpass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.
To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.
Health insights for donors
At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease who require trait-negative blood. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease. Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at https://www.redcrossblood.org.
About the American Red Cross of Illinois
The American Red Cross of Illinois serves 12.4 million people in 88 counties in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri including Adams, Bond, Boone, Brown, Bureau, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cook, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, De Witt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Fulton, Green, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jasper, Jefferson, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Piatt, Pike, Putnam, Richland, Rock Island, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Vermillion, Warren, Washington, Whiteside, Will, Williamson Winnebago, Woodford. Iowa: Lee, Muscatine, Scott and Van Buren. Missouri: Clark, Lewis, Marion and Ralls. 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 us at Redcross.org/Illinois or visit us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @RedCrossIL.