American Red Cross volunteers are assisting the families affected by 2 home fires in Dekalb and Sterling in the past week. Red Cross disaster volunteers go 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.
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.
The American Red Cross is testing all donations for COVID-19 antibodies for a limited time. Results may indicate an antibody response after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine or possible past exposure to this coronavirus – and may identify donations with antibody levels necessary to potentially help COVID-19 patients with a weakened immune system. The results of your antibody test will be available by logging in to your blood donor account on the Blood Donor App or at redcrossblood.org within one to two weeks after your donation.
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.
Spring Weather Safety
Spring is officially here and the weather can change in a moment’s notice. Take steps to prepare yourself and your family before severe weather happens.
• Get a kit. Having an emergency kit puts you a step ahead of a disaster, should it happen.
• Make a plan. Talk with household members about what you would do during an emergency.
• Be informed. Know the risks where you live, work, learn and play.
Visit our website for preparedness and safety tips regarding thunderstorms, tornadoes and many other emergency scenarios.
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.
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.