Volunteer disaster responders with the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois responded to 23 fires from Monday, March 9 through today in the Chicago & Northern Illinois area in Dixon, Forest Park, Gardner, Minooka, Rockford and more, with 12 of these fires taking place in Chicago.
In the past week, the Red Cross helped 69 individuals, including 51 adults and 18 children with temporary housing, food, clothing and comfort kits with toiletry items, information about recovery services and health and mental health services.
The American Red Cross responds to 3 to 4 home fires every day in Chicago and Northern Illinois. You can take two easy steps to protect your home and loved ones from a fire: get a smoke alarm and create a fire escape plan. Having a working smoke alarm cuts the risk of dying in a home fire in half.
Blood Donation Amid Coronavirus Concerns
The American Red Cross strongly urges healthy, eligible individuals who are feeling well to give blood to help maintain a sufficient blood supply and prevent shortages as concerns about the outbreak or coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19 rise in the U.S.
Cold and flu season has already impacted the nation’s ability to maintain its blood supply. As the number of COVID-19 cases grows in the U.S., the number of people eligible to give blood for patients in need could decrease further.
It’s important to emphasize that there is no data or evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases of transmissions for any respiratory virus, including coronavirus, worldwide. Nonetheless, the American Red Cross has implemented new blood donation deferrals out of an abundance of caution. We are now asking that individuals postpone their donation for 28 days following:
- Travel to China and its special administrative regions, Hong Kong, Macau, as well as Iran, Italy and South Korea.
- Diagnosis of COVID-19, contact with a person who has the virus or is suspected to have it.
At each blood drive and donation center, Red Cross employees follow thorough safety protocols including wearing gloves, routinely wiping down donor-touched areas, using sterile collection sets for every donation, and preparing the arm for donation with an aseptic scrub.
Furthermore, Red Cross employees are trained in universal precautions to help prevent the spread of any type of infection.
Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood. The need for blood is constant, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need of transfusions.
A number of blood drives have been added at the Red Cross Rauner Center office (2200 W. Harrison) and at the Red Cross Romeoville office (1293 Windham Parkway).
The Red Cross asks that healthy individuals who are eligible to donate make an appointment to donate blood now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
In the weeks since the deadly tornados in Tennessee, American Red Cross disaster workers have worked around the clock to provide comfort and support to people in need. Almost 580 workers, including four from the Chicago & Northern Illinois region answered the call to help in Tennessee by providing more than 107,800 meals and snacks; distributing more than 39,400 relief items, like comfort kits, hygiene items, shovels, rakes, trash bags, work gloves and tarps; and providing more than 4,800 individual care contacts to support health, mental health and spiritual needs.
As affected communities begin to recover, emergency needs are declining, and the Red Cross will begin scaling back the number of disaster workers on the ground. People who were staying in emergency shelters have met with Red Cross caseworkers to plan their next steps and move to more suitable accommodations. In coordination with partners, the Red Cross opened a total of 8 shelters and provided more than 1,300 overnight shelter stays. In the coming days, we will continue working with local and state officials to determine what additional help is needed.
You can help people affected by disasters like storms and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Call, click, or text to give: visit redcross.org, call 1-800 RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. To donate by check or to a specific cause, please complete this donation form by printing and mailing to your local Red Cross chapter.
About the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois:
The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois serves 9.5 million people in 21 counties including Boone, Bureau, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will and Winnebago. 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/IL/chicago or visit us on Twitter @ChicagoRedCross.