Volunteers with the American Red Cross responded to 19 home fires from July 12 through today across Chicagoland. Volunteers with the Disaster Action Team assisted 41 individuals this past week affected by incidents in Bolingbrook, Crystal Lake, Kankakee, Morris, Oswego and more, including Chicago where nine of these home fires occurred.
In the past week, volunteers provided 32 adults and nine children with temporary housing, meals, health services, disaster mental health services, financial assistance and information about recovery planning.
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. The American Red Cross encourages everyone to talk to their children about fire safety to help families stay safe and prepared.
HELP KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE Below are some key ways to prepare your family:
- Practice your escape plan: Take time to discuss fire safety with your family. 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.
- Be friends with firefighters: Teach your children not to be afraid of firefighters. Take them to your local fire department to meet them, see the gear they wear and learn about fire safety and prevention.
- Avoid matches: Teach your children to tell you or a responsible adult when they find matches or lighters at home or school. Keep matches, lighters and other ignitable substances in a secured location out of reach of children.
- 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 (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.
While summer is traditionally a time when blood donations decline, this year is particularly challenging as many Americans resume summer activities after more than a year of limited interactions and travel, leading to lower donor turnout.
Across the United States there continues to be a severe blood shortage that is negatively affecting blood product availability for patients at hospitals. 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.
In thanks for helping meet patient needs at a challenging time of year, all who come to give July 7-31 will receive automatic entry for a chance to win gas for a year (a $5,000 value) and a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email. Additional information and details are available at rcblood.org/fuel. Those who come to give throughout the month of July will also be automatically entered to win a trip for four to Cedar Point or Knott’s Berry Farm. More details are available at rcblood.org/CedarFair.
Blood Drive on Route 66 at the Rialto Square Theatre – Wednesday, July 21
The American Red Cross of the Illinois River Valley board of directors invites the community to give at the Blood Drive on Route 66, Wednesday, July 21, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the historic Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago St., Joliet. Visit redcrossblood.org to schedule your appointment. Enter sponsor code: route66. Come to give blood and we'll send you a $10 gift card via email, courtesy of Suburban Propane!
About blood donation
To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.
Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.
Health insights for donors – Sickle Cell Trait Testing
At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is also screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.
Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
Blood drive safety
The Red Cross has updated its pandemic safety protocols in alignment with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Fully vaccinated individuals, including staff and donors, no longer need to wear masks or socially distance. Unvaccinated individuals continue to be required to wear masks and socially distance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.
Healthy individuals who wish to donate blood, can go to RedCrossBlood.org and put in their zip code to find a blood drive near them. Potential donors can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS or use the Red Cross Blood donor app to find a nearby blood drive.
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.