Red Cross volunteers responded to 14 home fires across south central Illinois from November 8 through today. Volunteers with the Disaster Action Team assisted residents impacted by home fires in Shelbyville, Paris, Palmyra, Centralia, Springfield, Mount Olive, Johnston City and more.
In the past week, Red Cross volunteers helped 33 individuals, including 27 adults and 6 children with temporary emergency housing, health services, disaster mental health services, financial assistance and information about recovery planning.
If you or someone you know needs assistance after a home fire or local disaster, please call our dispatch line: 1-877-597-0747.
Home fires are the nation’s most frequent disaster. Help keep your family safe by testing your smoke alarms and practicing your two-minute home fire escape drill — the amount of time that experts say you may have to get out before it’s too late. Teach children what a smoke alarm sounds like and talk about fire safety and what to do in an emergency.
In addition, as the temperature drops home fires tend to increase and heating equipment is one of the leading causes. Help keep your family safe by providing at least three feet of space for all heating equipment.
- This is critical because most home heating fire tragedies occur when flammable items like furniture, rugs and drapes are too close.
- Also, never leave space heaters unattended – as they’re involved in most fatal home heating fires.
- If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface, such as a ceramic tile floor. Don’t place it on rugs and carpets, or near bedding and drapes. And turn it off every time you leave the room or go to sleep.
Visit redcross.org/fire for more information, including an escape plan to practice with your family. You can also download our free 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.
NEED FOR BLOOD CONTINUES: DONORS ENCOURAGE TO GIVE NOW
The emergency blood and platelet shortage continues, and the Red Cross is experiencing the lowest blood supply at this time of the year in more than a decade. Donors of all blood types – especially type O – and platelet donors are urged to make an appointment at redcrossblood.org or call 1-800 RED CROSS to give now and in the weeks ahead to overcome this current shortage.
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. It is the blood already on hospital shelves that makes a lifesaving difference.
Blood drive safety
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.
YOUR LOCAL RED CROSS NEEDS YOU: JOIN OUR TEAM OF DEDICATED VOLUNTEERS
The Red Cross needs new volunteers to support our local communities. We encourage you to join our team of dedicated volunteers who every day are making a difference in the lives of so many. To VOLUNTEER, visit redcross.org/Volunteer to sign up. All are welcome!
Disaster Action Team Member– Local Disaster Action Teams (DAT) provide 24-hour emergency response to local disasters, particularly home fires, ensuring that those affected have access to resources for basic necessities such as food, shelter and clothing. If you are team-oriented and want to help your neighbor, the DAT responder may be just the thing for you.
Health Professionals– The Red Cross also needs volunteers who can help address the health needs of those impacted by disasters, including home fires. These volunteers provide hands-on care in alignment with their professional licensure (registered nurse and licensed nurse/licensed vocational nurse). We have both associate and supervisory level opportunities available. If you are an RN, LPN, LVN, APRN, NP, EMT, paramedic, MD/DO or PA with a current and unencumbered license, this position could be right for you.
Blood Donor Ambassador – These volunteers ensure blood donors have a pleasant and fulfilling experience, from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave! They 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. The Red Cross collects and distributes about 40 percent of our nation’s blood supply. When you help create a fulfilling donation experience and encourage visitors to make a long-term commitment to regular donations, you improve our ability to meet this critical need. Each volunteer shift you take is another opportunity to help save lives.
Blood Transportation Specialist – These 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.
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.