Local Volunteers Help 64 People Impacted by Home Fires in Chicagoland in the Past Week
Red Cross in Need of Volunteers as Disaster Season Ramps Up
Red Cross in Need of Volunteers as Disaster Season Ramps Up
Red Cross volunteers with the Disaster Action Team responded to 16 home fires across Chicagoland from August 16 through today. In this past week, our volunteers have assisted 64 individuals affected by home fires in Bolingbrook, Ford Heights, Chicago Heights and more, including nine incidents in Chicago.
This past week, Red Cross volunteers helped 24 children and 40 adults, including 19 individuals who were displaced by a fire at a multi-unit building in Wheeling. Volunteers provided assistance with temporary emergency housing, health services, disaster mental health services, financial assistance and information about recovery planning.
Every second counts when there’s a home fire. To help protect your household, test your smoke alarms each month and practice your escape plan until everyone can get out in less than two minutes. 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.
For free home fire safety resources, including an escape plan, visit redcross.org/fire or download the free Red Cross 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.
If you or someone you know needs assistance after a home fire or local disaster, please call our dispatch line: 1-877-597-0747.
Critical Need of Blood Donors
There is an ongoing, critical need for lifesaving blood this summer as blood product distributions to hospitals remain higher than anticipated. In recent months, the Red Cross has sent 12% more blood products to hospitals to help patients in need, including higher distributions to hospitals in areas where the pandemic continues to disrupt normal blood collection operations. Donors of all blood types – especially type O – are urged to make an appointment to give now.
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.
To thank donors who help ensure a strong blood supply this month, all who come to donate Aug. 16-31 will get a $5 e-gift card to a merchant of their choice. More details are available at rcblood.org/gift.
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.
Volunteers Needed During Active Disaster Season
The American Red Cross is calling for volunteers as disasters continue to affect communities across the United States, including wildfires out west which have forced thousands of people out of their homes. Since July, our volunteers have been supporting those impacted both on the ground and virtually. More than 500 volunteers, including volunteers from the Illinois Region have provided support to those who have been evacuated to find a safe place to stay, food to eat and emotional support during this challenging time. Shelters are open in California, Montana, Washington, Minnesota and Oregon.
Meanwhile in the northeast coast, people are beginning the difficult task of cleaning up their homes and neighborhoods as flood waters recede in the wake of Tropical Storm Henri. Red Cross volunteers are working closely with officials and partners to make sure those impacted get the help they need.
As disasters continue to ramp up, it’s critical to have trained, ready volunteers to make sure we can provide relief at a moment’s notice. Experts are predicting we could see 10 or more hurricanes in the upcoming weeks.
Volunteers are also needed to respond to local disasters, including home fires. Last year, Red Cross volunteers with the Illinois Region provided immediate emergency assistance to 9,135 people after 1,832 home fires and other disasters.
If you want to make a difference and are interested in helping your community should a disaster occur here at home or across the country, please sign up at redcross.org/volunteertoday. Below are the most needed volunteer positions in the Illinois Region:
DISASTER ACTION TEAM MEMBER
Local Disaster Action Teams 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 here or across the country, the DAT responder may be just the thing for you.
The Red Cross needs new volunteers to support disaster shelters. Volunteers will help with reception, registration, food distribution, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks inside disaster shelters locally and nationally.
The Red Cross also needs volunteers who can work in disaster shelters locally and nationally to address people’s health needs and provide hands-on care in alignment with their professional licensure (registered nurse and licensed practical 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 volunteer position could be right for you.
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.