Volunteers with our Disaster Action Team were busy responding to home fires across South Central Illinois. Our volunteers assisted people impacted by five home fires in Centralia, Decatur, Murrayville, Oakford and Pittsburg.
In this past week, volunteers with the American Red Cross provided financial assistance, health services and information about recovery planning to 13 individuals, including 10 adults and three children.
During the winter months, there is an increase in home fires. 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. You can take two important steps to prevent fire tragedies:
-Practice your escape plan: take time to discuss fire safety with your family until everyone can escape in less than two minutes. Familiarize children with the sound of your smoke alarm and teach them what to do when they hear it when you practice your escape plan.
-Test Smoke Alarms: Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. Test them monthly and replace alarm batteries as needed.
For free home fire safety resources, including an escape plan, visit redcross.org/fire or download the free Red Cross Emergency App. In addition, the free Monster Guard app teaches children how to prepare for emergencies by playing an engaging game. Download the apps by searching “American Red Cross” in app stores or going to redcross.org/apps.
If you need assistance after a home fire or disaster, please call our dispatch line: 1-844-319-6560.
The Red Cross in Need of Volunteers
Blood Donor Ambassador – These volunteers welcome visitors to the Red Cross facilities or blood drives and take their temperatures before they enter. Visitors could include potential blood donors, people seeking help, course participants and Red Cross employees and volunteers. Start your application here.
Blood Transportation Specialist – These volunteers deliver life-saving blood products from Red Cross distribution facilities to hospitals, using a Red Cross-owned vehicle. You’ll also need to meet these important qualifications: Have a valid state driver’s license and proof of insurance, have three years driving experience and a clean driving record. Start your application here.
Please visit redcross.org/volunteer to find out more about volunteer opportunities.
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.