Wednesday, March 15, 2017

"I've always loved the American Red Cross"

Janice Moore 
Very early Saturday morning, Janice Moore was going to her back room to watch TV.

"I suddenly heard a lot of footsteps and noises", said Janice. She looked out her apartment window to see fire engines. Still unsure of what was going on, she looked up to see a blaze coming out of the upstairs apartment window.

All residents of the Layette Avenue apartment building got out safely, and there were no injuries. The Red Cross opened a shelter at St. John's Grace Episcopal Church in Buffalo, and provided support to 84 people.

Janice is familiar with the Red Cross. She's been a volunteer blood services driver for nine years, but she had never needed Red Cross assistance before this weekend.

Shelter at St John's Grace Episcopal Church
"I've always loved American Red Cross," Janice said. She said that it must be hard trying to keep people calm and help them quickly, but the Red Cross pulled it through. She was also grateful that the NFTA brought a bus to the scene to protect them from the frigid temperatures as they met with volunteers and eventually helped them get to the safe, warm shelter.

Janice and her neighbors have since found other housing, but Red Cross volunteers continue to work with them to meet any additional needs and develop and individualized, long-term recovery plan. And Janice will soon be back on the road, delivering those life-saving blood products from the drives that were donated at to the blood centers.

Our volunteers responded to over 1,400 fires in the Western and Central New York Region last year, providing shelter, food and clothing, comfort and support to our neighbors in need. You can help people affected by disasters like home fires and countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-REDCROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

-Emma Reeve, Communications Intern

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Families Returning Home, Shelters Closing as Power Restoration Continues

207 people spent Saturday night in Red Cross and community storm shelters; Fire shelter in Buffalo remains open

As power restoration efforts continue across the Western and Central New York Region following this week’s windstorms, the American Red Cross has closed storm shelters in Batavia and Macedon. Anyone in these areas in need of additional assistance is asked to call their local Red Cross Chapter.

Red Cross volunteers continue to operate storm shelters at the following locations in the Greater Rochester area: 
        ·         David Gantt Center
        700 North Street, Rochester

        ·         Monroe Community College, Building 10
         1000 East Henrietta Road, Rochester

Additional community storm shelters are being operated by other agencies and many are receiving Red Cross support. 207 people spent Saturday night in nine total shelters. The Red Cross remains in constant contact with emergency officials across Western and Central New York to coordinate the most efficient and effective response to this disaster, and is prepared to provide additional relief services as needed.

An additional shelter remains open at St. John’s Episcopal Church on Colonial Circle in Buffalo for those displaced by a multi-unit apartment fire on Lafayette Street in Buffalo early Saturday morning.

DRIVING IN WINTER WEATHER With a Winter Storm Warning in effect for much of the region starting Monday, Red Cross encourages you to stay off the roads if possible. If you have to drive in snow or freezing rain, follow these tips about how to drive safely during a winter storm and what to do if you become stuck in your vehicle:
  • Fill the vehicle’s gas tank and clean the lights and windows to help you see.
  • Pay attention to the weather forecast. Before you leave, let someone know where you are going, the route you plan to take, and when you expect to get there. If your car gets stuck, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
  • If you have to drive, make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
  • Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.
  • Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.
  • Don’t pass snow plows.
  • Know that ramps, bridges and overpasses will freeze before roadways.

If you become stuck in the snow or icy conditions:
  • Stay with the car. Do not try to walk to safety.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) to the antenna for rescuers to see.
  • Don’t run your engine and heater constantly to help avoid running out of gas. Don’t use things like lights or the radio without the engine running so the battery doesn’t conk out.
  • If you can, move your vehicle off the roadway. Stay with it – don’t abandon it. If you have to get out of your vehicle, use the side away from traffic.
  • Start the car and use the heater for about 10 minutes every hour. Keep the exhaust pipe clear so fumes won't back up in the car.
  • Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running to help rescuers see the vehicle.
  • Keep one window slightly open - away from the blowing wind - to let in air.

WEATHER ALERTS AND FIRST AID TIPS People can download the Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to winter storm tips and weather alerts for their area and where loved-ones live. Expert medical guidance and a hospital locator are included in the First Aid App in case travelers encounter any mishaps. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps.


You can help people affected by disasters like home fires, power outages and countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-REDCROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Red Cross Begins Closing Shelters as Power Restoration Continues

Shelters to remain open in Batavia, Buffalo, Macedon, Rochester; Red Cross supporting community shelters

As power restoration efforts continue across the Western and Central New York Region following this week’s windstorms, the American Red Cross has closed three storm shelters, with a fourth scheduled to close by Saturday afternoon. Shelters at the Kendall Town Hall, Frontier Fire Hall and Varysburg Fire Hall were closed on Saturday as residents have been able to return to their homes. A shelter at Cross Creek Church in Macedon is scheduled to close on Sunday afternoon. Anyone in these areas in need of additional assistance is asked to call their local Red Cross Chapter.

Red Cross volunteers continue to operate storm shelters at the following locations:

FINGER LAKES CHAPTER (Chapter phone: 607-936-3766):
      ·         Cross Creek Church
3259 Canandaigua Road, Macedon

GREATER ROCHESTER CHAPTER (Chapter phone: 585-241-4400):
      ·         David Gantt Center
700 North Street, Rochester

      ·         Monroe Community College, Building 10
1000 East Henrietta Road, Rochester

WESTERN NEW YORK CHAPTER (Chapter phone: 716-886-7500):
·         Batavia Veterans Administration Hospital, Building 4
222 Richmond Avenue, Batavia

Additional community storm shelters are being operated by other agencies and many are receiving Red Cross support. For example, a number of cots, blankets and comfort kits have been delivered to Gates Town Hall and Greece Community Center. The Red Cross remains in constant contact with emergency officials across Western and Central New York to coordinate the most efficient and effective response to this disaster, and is prepared to provide additional relief services as needed.

An additional shelter remains open at St. John’s Episcopal Church on Colonial Circle in Buffalo for those displaced by a multi-unit apartment fire on Lafayette Street in Buffalo early Saturday morning.

With cold temperatures predicted throughout the weekend, the Red Cross encourages families to take precautions to stay safe:
      ·         Never use a generator inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
      ·         Keep all potential sources of fuel, including paper, clothing, bedding or rugs at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves or fireplaces.
      ·         Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended.
      ·         Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
      ·         Keep fire in your fireplace by using a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
      ·         Run water at a trickle to help prevent pipes from freezing
      ·         Download the free Red Cross Emergency App, which offers additional safety tips, as well as real-time weather alerts, shelter locations and more.


You can help people affected by disasters like home fires, power outages and countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-REDCROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. 

Red Cross Opening Shelter after Multi-Unit Apartment Fire in Buffalo


45 people spent Friday night in seven Red Cross-operated storm shelters across region

The American Red Cross is opening a shelter for those displaced by a multi-unit apartment fire on Lafayette Street in Buffalo early Saturday morning. That shelter will be located at St John’s Grace Episcopal Church, 51 Colonial Circle in Buffalo.

45 people spent Friday night in seven Red Cross-operated storm shelters across the Western and Central New York Region following high winds that left thousands without power and displaced many others. Volunteers are providing residents in need with a safe, warm place to stay as well as food and water. Health Services and Disaster Mental Health volunteers are also available, and caseworkers will meet with individually with families to assess their needs.

Anyone in need of assistance can come to one of the shelters or call their local Red Cross Chapter. Shelters are currently open at the following locations (new locations in bold):

FINGER LAKES CHAPTER (Chapter phone: 607-936-3766):
     ·         Cross Creek Church (three overnight residents)
3259 Canandaigua Road, Macedon

GREATER ROCHESTER CHAPTER (Chapter phone: 585-241-4400):
     ·         David Gantt Center (40 overnight residents)
700 North Street, Rochester

     ·         Monroe Community College, Building 10 (One overnight resident)
1000 East Henrietta Road, Rochester

WESTERN NEW YORK CHAPTER (Chapter phone: 716-886-7500):
     ·         Batavia Veterans Administration Hospital, Building 4 (Zero overnight residents)
222 Richmond Avenue, Batavia

     ·         Kendall Town Hall (Zero overnight residents)
1     873 Kendall Road, Route 37, Kendall

     ·         Varysburg Fire Hall (One overnight resident)
2446 Route 20A, Varysburg

Additional community shelters are being operated by other agencies and many are receiving Red Cross support. A total of 110 people spent Friday night in 13 shelters across Western and Central New York. The Red Cross remains in constant contact with emergency officials across Western and Central New York to coordinate the most efficient and effective response to this disaster, and is prepared to open additional shelters and provide additional relief services as needed.

With cold temperatures predicted throughout the weekend, the Red Cross encourages families to take precautions to stay safe:
     ·         Never use a generator inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
     ·         Keep all potential sources of fuel, including paper, clothing, bedding or rugs at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves or fireplaces.
     ·         Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended.
     ·         Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
     ·         Keep fire in your fireplace by using a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
     ·         Run water at a trickle to help prevent pipes from freezing
     ·         Download the free Red Cross Emergency App, which offers additional safety tips, as well as real-time weather alerts, shelter locations and more.


You can help people affected by disasters like home fires, power outages and countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-REDCROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.