Red Cross volunteers helped about a dozen people, including two children impacted by home fires in the Quad Cities and West Central Illinois from December 27 through today. Volunteers responded to approximately seven incidents in Galva (Illinois), Hannibal (Missouri), Rock Island (Illinois) and more.
During this past week, the American Red Cross provided assistance to those affected with a temporary place to stay, 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.
Cold Weather Safety Tips
As temperatures continue to drop for the rest of the week, the Red Cross has the following winter safety tips:
Out in the Cold
- Be aware of the wind chill. Avoid staying in the cold too long.
- Wear layers of clothing to stay warm, along with a hat, mittens and waterproof, insulated boots to keep feet warm and dry. Avoid unnecessary exposure of any part of the body to the cold.
- Be careful when tackling strenuous tasks like shoveling snow in cold temperatures. Take frequent breaks from the cold.
- Drink plenty of warm fluids or warm water but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Get out of the cold immediately if the signs of hypothermia and frostbite appear.
- Check on your neighbors, especially elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.
- Bring family pets indoors. If that’s not possible, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they can get to unfrozen water.
- Prevent frozen pipes. Open cabinet doors to let warm air circulate around water pipes. Let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes.
- Do not use a stove or oven to heat the home. Keep a glass or metal fire screen around the fireplace and never leave a fireplace fire unattended.
- If using a space heater, place it on a level, hard, nonflammable surface. Turn the space heater off when leaving the room or going to sleep. Keep children and pets away from the space heater and do not use it to dry wet clothing.
- If the power goes out, use generators correctly. Never operate a generator inside the home, including the basement or garage. Do not hook up a generator directly to the home's wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment needed directly to the outlets on the generator.
On the road
- Stay off the road during severe weather, if possible.
- Carry an emergency preparedness kit in the trunk.
- Keep the car's gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
- Make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road.
- Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.
- Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.
- Don’t pass snowplows.
- Know that ramps, bridges and overpasses freeze before roadways.
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.
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.