American Red Cross volunteers are assisting at least 75 people affected by 18 fires across the Chicagoland area and Illinois River Valley chapter from March 8 to today. Fires occurred in Arlington Heights, Broadview, Calumet City, Cary, Cicero, Elgin, Woodridge and more with the majority of events happening in the city of Chicago.
Red Cross disaster volunteers were on scene to provide assistance and support to the families through supplying them with basic items to meet immediate needs after a fire, and additional support in the form of health and mental health services and one-on-one support as the families involved work through next steps after experiencing a home fire.
If you or someone you know needs assistance after a home fire or local disaster, please call our dispatch line: 1-877-597-0747.
Home fires are the nation’s most frequent disaster. Working smoke alarms can cut the risk of dying in a home fire by 50 percent. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. Help keep your family safe by testing your smoke alarms monthly 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.
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. Free resources are available to help children learn what to do during a home fire and other emergencies.
Flood Safety Awareness Week
March 14-18 is Flood Safety Awareness Week. Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Visit redcross.org/flood to learn what to do before, during and after a flood to keep your loved ones safe. Here are some flood safety tips:
• Stay off the roads and away from floodwaters. If you must drive, avoid flooded roadways.
• If power lines are down, don’t step in any puddles or standing water.
• Follow evacuation orders and don’t return home until officials say it is safe.
• Be cautious when cleaning up your home and wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and boots. Throw out items that absorb water and can’t be disinfected, and dispose of all food, drinks and medications.
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.
EMERGENCY APP People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to safety tips for winter weather and power outages. The app can be found in the app store for someone’s mobile device by searching for “American Red Cross” or by going to redcross.org/apps.
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.