Friday, February 4, 2011

Are you ready for some football?! With a side of fire awareness?!

Steelers or Packers? Who’s going to win?! We don’t know! But since you’re probably firing up the grill or fryer in anticipation, we thought it was a good time to refresh everyone on fire awareness with some tips!
·         Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food
o   If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. 
·         Stay in the home while simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food
o   Check it regularly and use a timer to remind you that food is cooking
·         Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stove
o   Pot holders, towels, plastic, clothing, etc
·         Keep pets off cooking surfaces and countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner
·         Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area
·         If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL for help
·         Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas
o   Test them every month and replace the batteries at least once a year
If you’re interested in some more game day safety tips, be sure to visit us online!
Want to know who’s going to win the big game this Sunday? Tune in and find out!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

We're ready!

All of us Buffalonians know that our weather is far from cooperative.  When a storm’s supposed to hit it misses, and when it’s supposed to miss it hits.  That not only makes our poor meteorologist’s lives quite difficult, but also makes it difficult for us to be prepared.  This is why we push so hard through our Red Cross Ready presentations that you prepare NOW, so regardless of what happens next, you’re ready.
Here at the Chapter we’re always prepared, which allows us to respond seamlessly during severe weather or other disasters.  We couldn’t do this without your support.
Donations from the community are what help us continue to offer you with the wide range of free classes, support, services and emergency response, so that when those big storms or other disasters do hit, we have all of the tools we need to respond.
You can help us continue to be prepared by:
For tips on how to better prepare now so that you’re ready for the next storm, visit us online.
To schedule a Be Red Cross Ready presentation for your school, work, church or community center, call or e-mail Denise Herkey-Jarosch at 716-878-2231 or

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Storms A'Brewin'!!

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that a massive winter storm is headed our way this evening, predicted to dump over a foot of snow on Western New York by 10pm Wednesday.  As we've already seen this winter, it doesn't take nearly that much of the white stuff to cause problems.  Hopefully everyone will stay safe this time around, but thanks to your support, the Red Cross is ready to help if needed.  In fact, we've done this sort of thing before!
In early December, a lake effect snow storm left some travelers stranded on New York State Thruway for over 24 hours.  Our Disaster Action Team set up a shelter at the Cheektowaga Senior Center, providing 85 people with a food, water, a way to contact loved ones, and most importantly, heat!  The Red Cross also provided hotel rooms for 13 people who didn't have a way home at the end of the evening.

During that same storm, a family was forced out of the house they were renting after the weight of multiple feet of snow caused the roof to collapse on the home. The Red Cross provided the family with money for food, new clothes, and a place to stay. Our staff also worked with the family to create a plan to help them put their lives back together, offering to pay the security deposit and first months rent on a new apartment.

Of course, when high winds combine with snow and ice, a widespread disaster including massive power outages is always possible.  Think back to October of 2006--the surprise storm left hundreds without power for days, with trees and power lines covering roads and damaging houses.  The Red Cross opened shelters across Erie County, even setting up cots for people to stay with us right here at Chapter heaquarters!

We count on you to be there for us, year after year, with your meaningful gift to the American Red Cross.  Donating is simple--just go to our website and help us continue to be What Happens Next when disaster strikes.  While you're there, check out some of our winter preparedness tips and make sure our winter wonderland doesn't turn into a nightmare.

Snow snow everywhere...

Since I grew up shoveling a very long driveway, I appreciate the fact that when I come home after a very blizzardy day to my quant apartment, I’m not responsible for shoveling the driveway.  No more waking up in the morning with all of my muscles hurting, freezing out in the cold or having snow frozen in my hair for hours from my brothers lovingly dumping their shovels full of snow on me.  But not everyone is lucky enough to have a snow shoveling landlord. 
Most people have homes, cars and children that need to be carted around, which means that the two feet of snow that has piled up on your 20 ft driveway needs to be moved if anyone plans on getting in or out.  Not always the easiest or safest task.  
Did you know?
·         Just 15 minutes of snow shoveling is equal to 30 minutes of moderate physical activity.
o   Strokes and heart attacks are the second most common reason that people are sent to the emergency rooms during snow storms. Anyone who has already had a heart attack, has a history of heart disease, has high blood pressure has high cholesterol, lives a sedentary lifestyle or even smokes should approach snow shoveling with extreme caution.
So, here are some snow shoveling tips!!
·         Dress in layers
·         Don’t put your back into it!
o   Back injury is a common health risk of shoveling snow. Using the wrong muscles can cause great pain or send someone to the hospital. It's very important to stretch and warm your body up prior to snow shoveling to prevent injury.
§  Use proper body mechanics:
            ·         Stand with feet at hip width for balance
·         Bend from the knees
·         Keep the shovel close to the body
·         Tighten stomach muscles while lifting
·         Avoid twisting movements
·         Pick the right shovel!!
o   Larger snow shovel=Faster shoveling=Higher risk of injury
o   An average snow shovel can hold up to 16 pounds of snow, which will add up quick once you get through your entire driveway and sidewalk!
o   By using a smaller shovel you will reduce your chance of injury
·         Stay hydrated!!
o   Cold weather can dehydrate the human body
o   Take frequent water breaks, about every 10-15 minutes, and warm up your hands and feet! 
o   Avoid alcohol
o   Avoid caffeine or nicotine before shoveling because they cause blood vessels to constrict, placing extra stress on the heart
·         PUSH the snow
o   Why make more work for yourself? It’s much easier on your body and will still get the job done.  
If snow shoveling is too much of a risk for your health, consider paying the neighbor’s kids (unless you have your own!) a few dollars  to shovel your walks or driveway. It may just save your life.
Stay safe!! And have a great winter.
For more information, please visit our disaster preparedness section online, and to schedule a presentation for your work, church or other organization, please contact Denise Herkey-Jarosch, Regional Coordinator, NYS Citizens Preparedness Program at (716) 878-2231 or
Special thanks to the Army Corps of Engineers for this great information!!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Will you be our valentine?

Sure, there are 14 days ‘till Valentine’s Day, but no one wants to be looking for their valentine the day before! So, why not let us be your valentine this year? 
By volunteering with us, you’ll not only make us blush in appreciation, but you’ll also be a true valentine to everyone that you’ll be helping in our community! 

So, be sure to check out our volunteer page and make us one of the happiest valentines in Buffalo.