Volunteers with our Disaster Action Team were busy responding to home fires across Chicagoland. Our volunteers assisted people impacted by 30 home fires in Aurora, Dolton, Hazel Crest, Melrose Park and more, with 26 of these incidents occurring in Chicago. Sadly, three of these home fires resulted in the loss of lives.
In this past week, volunteers with the American Red Cross provided assistance with a temporary place to stay to 65 individuals, including 48 adults and 17 children. In addition, our volunteers provided health services, disaster mental health, financial services and information about recovery planning to those affected.
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: 1-877-597-0747.
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.