Volunteers with the Disaster Action Team responded to 22 home fires across Chicagoland from August 31 to today. Our Volunteers helped families affected by these incidents in Kankakee, Maywood, Mendota, Riverdale and more, including Chicago where nine of these home fires took place.
This past week, Red Cross volunteers responded to three multi-unit apartment fires, including an incident in four three-story multi-family apartment buildings in Stone Park late Saturday. The Red Cross helped 43 residents, including 14 children who were displaced by this fire. Our volunteers assisted families impacted with emergency temporary lodging, health and disaster mental health services and information about recovery.
Since August 31, our volunteers have helped a total of 169 people, including 106 adults and 63 children with a temporary place to stay, health and mental health services and information about additional resources to help as they figure out next steps.
If you need assistance, please call our dispatch line: 1-877-597 0747. In Chicagoland, the Red Cross responds to 3 to 4 home fires every day.
Local Volunteers Continue to Deploy to Louisiana to Help After Hurricane Laura
Four more volunteers with the Illinois Red Cross are joining 35 fellow volunteers from our region who have deployed to help with relief efforts after widespread devastation brought by Hurricane Laura to Louisiana and Texas. These volunteers departed on Sunday to bring two emergency response vehicles to Louisiana to help with food distribution and other supplies such as clean-up kits to hardest hit communities. Currently, 18 volunteers from Chicago, Crest Hill, Crystal Lake, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Hanover Park, Lincolnwood, Lemont, Naperville and Richmond in Chicagoland, are assisting with these relief efforts.
Nearly 1,300 trained disaster workers with the Red Cross are supporting relief efforts in Louisiana and Texas on the ground and virtually. With the help of partners, our volunteers have served over 385,000 meals and snacks and distributed nearly 135,000 relief items and cleaning supplies. About 22,500 people have stayed in emergency lodgings, including hotels and, in some instances, shelters.
Red Cross workers are also helping to replace prescription medications, eyeglasses and offer emotional support to people whose lives have been turned upside down.
Nearly two weeks after Hurricane Laura devastated east Texas and Louisiana, tens of thousands of people are still without power or water. In Louisiana alone, nearly 140,000 people don’t have power, and it make take weeks before it’s restored. Officials believe that several thousand homes may either be destroyed or have major damage.
This is a team effort, and the Red Cross will be in Louisiana and east Texas for as long as it takes, working beside partners to help people rebuild their lives.
Click here to access b-roll Hurricane Laura -Louisiana.
Access photos here.
How You Can Help - You can make a difference in the lives of people impacted by Hurricane Laura by visiting redcross.org, calling 800-RED-CROSS or texting the word LAURA to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
National Preparedness Month: Red Cross Research Shows Older Adults More Vulnerable in Disasters
According to new research from the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council and the American Academy of Nursing, older adults are more vulnerable and experience more casualties after a natural disaster compared to other age groups. That’s why this National Preparedness Month, the Red Cross encourages everyone, especially older adults, to get ready for emergencies.
Being prepared for disasters is important for people of all ages. But there are several factors that make older adults more vulnerable during a natural disaster:
- Older adults may have more chronic conditions and medication concerns.
- They may be more dependent on assistive devices like walkers and eyeglasses, and support from caregivers.
- Living in social isolation can also make them more vulnerable.
PREPARE IN ADVANCE To be prepared, older adults should think about what they would do during a disaster before it occurs. Understand how your medical, physical and cognitive needs may affect your ability to respond if you had to stay in your home for two weeks or more or had to evacuate. Building a support network and identifying helpers such as family, friends, neighbors, caregivers and care providers who may be able to assist is vital. Older adults should meet with these supporters and decide how to communicate in an emergency.
Additional research findings and resources, including our new Disaster and Emergency Preparedness for Older Adults checklist and booklet, are available at redcross.org/olderadults.
DISASTERS DURING A PANDEMIC
Preparing for emergencies is a little different this year, but the three basic action steps remain the same for everyone: Build a Kit, Make a Plan and Be Informed. Assemble two kits of emergency supplies (a stay-at-home kit and an evacuation kit) and a one-month supply of prescription medication. Include personal hygiene items, cleaning and disinfectant supplies and cloth face coverings. Some supplies may be hard to get due to the pandemic, and availability may worsen in a disaster, so start gathering supplies now.
How to build an emergency kit b-roll here.
Disasters can force people to leave their homes, even in areas under stay-at-home mandates. By having an emergency plan your family can react quickly if a disaster strikes.
- Ask friends or relatives outside your area if you would be able to stay with them.
- Check and see if they have any COVID-19 symptoms or have people in their home at higher risk for serious illness. If they do, make other arrangements.
- Check with hotels, motels and campgrounds to see if they are open and if pets are allowed.
- Due to the pandemic, stay current on advice and restrictions from your state and local public health authorities as it may affect your actions, available resources and shelter facilities.
- Learn first aid and CPR skills so you’ll know what to do until emergency help arrives.
- Download the free Red Cross Emergency App for weather alerts and information on what to do before, during and after disasters.
Additional resources for preparing during the COVID-19 pandemic are available at redcross.org/coronavirus.
BLOOD, VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Severe weather during a pandemic can have an even greater impact on the ability of the Red Cross to collect lifesaving blood products due to an increase in canceled blood drives and decreased donor turnout in impacted areas. The need for blood is constant, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need. If you are feeling well, please make an appointment today to give by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 800-RED-CROSS.
As you prepare for disasters, the Red Cross is preparing too. We encourage people to join us by volunteering. A variety of positions are available including disaster shelter and health supervisors. Find out more at redcross.org/volunteer.
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.