Today is the first day of spring, a season that can produce severe weather, such as thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding. Click the links to find helpful safety tips for you and your family from the American Red Cross.
You can find safety information for many types of emergencies at redcross.org or by downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App. Information is available on what to do before, during and after the storm or other emergency.
Take steps now to be ready if a weather emergency threatens your community. Planning is the key.
• GET A KIT
o Three-day supply of non-perishable food and water—one gallon per person, per day for drinking and hygiene purposes
o Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
o Flashlight and extra batteries
o First aid kit, medications and medical items
o Copies of important documents (proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
o Extra cash
• MAKE A PLAN
o Talk with household members about what you would do during emergencies
o Plan what to do in case you are separated, and choose two places to meet - one right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency such as a fire, and another outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate
o Choose a contact person from out of the area and make sure all household members have this person’s phone number and email address – it may be easier to call long distance or text if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service
o Tell everyone in the household where emergency information and supplies are kept
o Practice evacuating your home twice a year – drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on a map in case main roads are impassable
o If you must evacuate, make arrangements for your pets – keep a phone list of “pet-friendly” motels/hotels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes
• BE INFORMED
o Know the risks where you live, work, learn and play
o Arm yourself with information about what to do in case an emergency occurs – emergencies like fires and blackouts can happen anywhere, so everyone should be prepared for them
o Find out how you would receive information from local officials in the event of an emergency
o Learn first aid, CPR and how to use an AED so you have the skills to respond in an emergency before help arrives, especially during a disaster when emergency responders may be delayed
Home Fire Response
Red Cross volunteers in the Quad Cities and West Central Illinois chapter responded to two home fires in Galesburg (Illinois) in the past week and provided assistance to six individuals, through supplying them with basic items to meet immediate needs after a fire, and additional support in the form of health and mental health services and one-on-one support.
If you or someone you know needs assistance after a home fire or local disaster, please call our dispatch line: (877) 597-0747.
Teach children what a smoke alarm sounds like and talk about fire safety and what to do in an emergency. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. Test alarms monthly and replace the batteries at least once a year if your model requires it. Replace smoke alarms that are 10 years or older; the sensor becomes less sensitive over time. Check the date of your smoke alarms and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Visit redcross.org/fire for information on setting up your home fire escape drill and to learn more about home fire safety. Download our free Emergency app by searching for “American Red Cross” in app stores or visiting redcross.org/apps.
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 Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @RedCrossIL.