Volunteer disaster responders with the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois responded to 32 fires from Monday, February 17 through today in the Chicago & Northern Illinois area in Chicago, Matteson, Naperville, Joliet, Ottawa, Steger, Waukegan, including a multi-unit building fire in Lombard that left over 100 units without gas and electricity last Tuesday. The Red Cross opened a shelter at Benedictine University to provide a warm place to stay to residents affected.
In the past week, the Red Cross helped 110 individuals, including 75 adults and 35 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. Sadly, the number of home fires increase during the winter time with home heating being the second leading cause of fires in the country. Here are 10 tips for heating your home safely. You can also take two easy steps to protect your home and loved ones from a fire: get a smoke alarm and create a fire escape plan. The Red Cross installs FREE smoke alarms year-round. To schedule an appointment to get a free installation in your home, visit www.getasmokealarm.org. Find more information about home fire safety here: English/Spanish.
Winter Weather Safety
Also, the Chicago and Northern Illinois region is expected to see several inches of snow this week. If going outside remember to wear layers of clothing, a hat, mittens and waterproof, insulated boots. Below are additional tips to help keep you and loved ones stay safe:
- Be careful when doing strenuous tasks like shoveling snow in cold temperatures. Drink a lot of fluids and avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Watch for hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia symptoms include confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Frostbite symptoms include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, or waxy skin.
- Check on your neighbors, especially elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.
- Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
In addition, avoid driving during winter weather. However, if you must travel follow these tips:
- 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 snow plows.
- Remember ramps, bridges and overpasses freeze before roadways.
Give Blood to Give Time
According to the American Cancer Society, over 1.8 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2020. Many cancer patients, especially those undergoing chemo, will require blood during treatment.
For the month of February, the American Red Cross has joined forces with the American Cancer Society to raise awareness on the importance of blood donation to help patients fighting cancer. To schedule a blood donation appointment or make a financial gift, visit GiveBloodGiveTime.org.
You can also 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
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.