Red Cross volunteers helped about 104 individuals including 22 kids impacted by home fires across Chicagoland from January 24 through today. Volunteers responded to approximately 31 incidents in Orland Park, Matteson, Waukegan, Harvey, Hazel Crest and more with the majority of incidents happening in Chicago.
In the past week, the American Red Cross provided assistance to the people affected through resources including temporary shelter, 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: 1-877-597-0747.
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 that experts say you may have to get out before it’s too late. Teach children what a smoke alarm sounds like and talk about fire safety and what to do in an emergency.
For more information about home fire safety, please visit redcross.org/fire. Download our free Emergency app (search “American Red Cross” in app stores or go to redcross.org/apps). Children can also learn what to do during a home fire and other emergencies with free resources at redcross.org/YouthPrep.
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.
Winter Weather Safety Tips
As a large part of the state prepares for oncoming winter weather, the Red Cross offers preparedness and safety tips. A “winter storm” is a catch-all phrase for many different types of dangerous and challenging weather. In addition to hazardous road conditions and possible power outages, winter storms can lead to health emergencies including hypothermia and frostbite.
Protect Your Home
• Learn how to protect pipes from freezing.
• Make sure your home heating sources are installed according to local codes and permit requirements and are clean and in working order.
• Make sure your home is properly insulated. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windowsills to keep cold air out.
• Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside to provide an extra layer of insulation to keep cold air out.
• Consider buying emergency heating equipment, such as a wood- or coal-burning stove or an electric or kerosene heater (if permitted by law in your area). Follow all of the manufacturer's instructions for safe installation and use.
• Consider storing sufficient heating fuel. Regular fuel sources may be cut off. Be cautious of fire hazards when storing any type of fuel.
Protect Your Family
• Talk with your family about what to do if a winter storm watch or warning is issued.
• Have your vehicle winterized before the winter storm season to decrease your chance of being stranded.
• Have a mechanic check your battery, antifreeze, wipers and windshield washer fluid, ignition system, thermostat, lights, flashing hazard lights, exhaust system, heater, brakes, defroster, and oil.
• Install good winter tires with adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate but some jurisdictions require vehicles to be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.
• Keep in your vehicle:
• A windshield scraper and small broom
• A small sack of sand for generating traction under wheels and a set of tire chains or traction mats
• Matches in a waterproof container
• A brightly colored (preferably red) cloth to tie to the antenna
• An emergency supply kit, including warm clothing
• Keep your vehicle’s gas tank full so you can leave right away in an emergency and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
• Keep a supply of non-clumping kitty litter to make walkways and steps less slippery.
Read more safety tips that can help protect you family, home, vehicle, pets and more here: What to Expect During a Winter Storm.
Red Cross Facing National Blood Crisis
The nation’s blood supply has dipped to a historically low level not seen in more than a decade. The Red Cross needs people to come donate over the upcoming weeks and months to help replenish the blood supply. The pandemic has resulted to a 34% drop in new blood donors from last year – one of the largest year-to-year decreases that could threaten essential medical care for patients.
Blood donors of all blood types – particularly type O blood, the most needed blood group by hospitals are needed now to give blood to help meet daily hospital demands.
If you are healthy and feeling well, we encourage you to come out to give blood.
Those who come to give blood Feb. 1-28, 2022, will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, thanks to Amazon.*
Schedule an appointment by visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Blood donations are needed now to meet the needs of accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. You can also make an appointment in the days and weeks ahead to ensure the Red Cross can replenish and then maintain a sufficient blood supply
Blood drive safety
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and 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.
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 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 Twitter @RedCrossIL.