Red Cross volunteers with the Disaster Action Team have been busy assisting people impacted by home fires across Chicagoland. Volunteers responded to 17 home fires from July 26 through today in Batavia, Gurnee, Harvey and more, including Chicago where seven of these incidents occurred.
Early Saturday morning, volunteers with the American Red Cross were on site at a multi-unit apartment fire in Skokie that impacted 140 residents. Our volunteers worked with the Skokie Fire Department to provide meals, snacks and water to those impacted as well as disaster health services to residents who needed it over the weekend.
In addition, Red Cross volunteers this week helped 27 individuals, including 18 adults and nine children with temporary housing, meals, health services, disaster mental health services, financial assistance and information about recovery planning.
Every second counts when there’s a home fire. To help protect your household, test your smoke alarms each month and practice your escape plan until everyone can get out in less than two minutes. A fire can take a home in as little as two minutes. Therefore, escaping in less than two minutes can be the difference between survival and tragedy.
To create your home fire escape plan, include at least two ways to exit every room in your home.
- 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 to meet.
- Take time to discuss the plan with everyone in your household, and practice it at least twice a year. While practicing your escape plan, teach children what a smoke alarm sounds like. Talk about fire safety and what to do in an emergency.
- Place smoke alarms on each level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas.
- In addition to testing your alarms once a month, change the batteries at least once a year, if your model requires it.
- Also check the manufacturer’s date of your smoke alarms. If they’re 10 years or older, they likely need to be replaced because components such as sensors and batteries can become less reliable. Follow your alarm’s manufacturer instructions.
The American Red Cross encourages everyone to talk to their children about fire safety to help families stay safe and prepared. For free home fire safety resources, including an escape plan, visit redcross.org/fire or download the free Red Cross 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.
If you or someone you know needs assistance after a home fire or local disaster, please call our dispatch line: 1-877-597-0747.
Severe Blood Shortage Continues Across the U.S.
The emergency need for lifesaving blood continues this summer as the country continues experiencing a severe blood shortage as the number of trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries rise – and deplete the nation’s blood inventory.
The Red Cross has an emergency need for lifesaving blood amid the ongoing severe blood shortage. Donors of all blood types – especially type O – are urged to make an appointment to give now and help ensure hospital shelves are stocked through the summer season. Blood transfusions are one of the most common hospital procedures in the U.S. – used to help treat kids battling cancer, accident victims being rushed to emergency rooms, individuals experiencing extreme sickle cell disease pain, and people with complicated childbirths.
To thank donors who help ensure a strong blood supply this month, all who come to give Aug. 1-15, 2021, will automatically be entered for a chance to win an exclusive VIP trip for two to the sold-out 2021 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival.
Those who come to donate throughout August will also receive a free 4-month special offer to Apple Music by email (new subscribers only).
More details on these giveaways are available at RedCrossBlood.org/FeelTheBeat.
About Blood Donation
To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. 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.
Healthy individuals who wish to donate blood, can go to RedCrossBlood.org and put in their zip code to find a blood drive near them. Potential donors can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App to find a nearby blood drive.
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.
Donate Blood to Help Save Lives: Come out to the Brookfield Zoo Blood Drive
The American Red Cross and Brookfield Zoo are partnering for the Annual Brookfield Zoo Blood Drive on Wednesday, August 4th from 9 a.m. 3 p.m. at the zoo – Discovery Center, 3300 Golf Road, Brookfield, IL.
All pre-registered blood donors will receive free general zoo admission the day of the drive for one adult and up to two children and free parking in the Discovery Center Parking Lot.
To pre-register, make an appointment to donate by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org (enter sponsor code “brookfieldzoo”) or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
In addition, presenting blood donors will receive a $10 gift card via email, courtesy of Suburban Propane.
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.