Friday, March 25, 2011

Red Cross... for kids!

Most people know that we go out into the community to present preparedness information to adults in the community… but did you know we also give presentations to children?! We have three presentations that we offer to children and young adults, including:
Scrubby Bear- in the Scrubby Bear presentation, our presenter and Scrubby Bear talk to students about what germs are, where germs can be, what we can do to prevent germs from getting us sick, how we can prevent our germs from getting others sick and the proper way to wash our hands. Presenters use “Germ Juice” which is a non-toxic germ simulator which will glow when children’s hands are put underneath a black light, students are then told to wash their hands singing the song that they just learned and then we put their hands under the black light again to see how thorough of a job they did washing their hands.   For ages 4-6, a variation of the program is also available for ages 7-8.
Sesame Street- In the Sesame Street presentation, our presenters, Grover and Rosita, talk to students about what an emergency is, how to prepare for an emergency, where we can go in an emergency and the types of information we should know in an emergency.  This presentation has a movie that accompanies it where Grover and Rosita’s friends learn how to be prepared.  Children receive a preparedness coloring book that reinforces all of the information that is presented, and that will help get their families prepared. For ages 4-7.
Ready Set Prepare- In the Ready Set Prepare presentation, students learn about what an emergency is, types of emergencies, how to get a kit, make a plan and stay informed during an emergency.  Presenters go in depth about the information that we need to know before an emergency, types of things that our emergency kits should have and ways to stay informed during an emergency.  Students receive a preparedness book and information that will help get their families prepared.
For ages 6-11.
If you would like to learn more about one of these presentations, or you would like to schedule a presentation for your school, day-care or club, please contact Denise-Herkey Jarosch at 716-878-2231, or Louise Porter at 716-878-2230,  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Get to work in a workshop!

Photo courtesy of the p2 Collaborative of WNY, inc.

Are you looking for a workshop to help deal with ongoing health conditions such as:
·         Diabetes  
·         High blood pressure
·         Anxiety
·         Arthritis
·         Chronic pain
·         COPD
·         Asthma
Well then continue reading to learn more about the P2 Collaborative of Western New York, Inc. and the American Red Cross, Greater Buffalo Chapter’s FREE Living Healthy workshops in Western New York!   
Our workshops are taught by specially-trained volunteer leaders -- some of whom have health conditions themselves – and cover new topics each week while providing participants with opportunities for interaction and group problem solving.   
Workshop participants will:
  • Find better ways of dealing with pain and fatigue
  • Discover easy exercises to help improve or maintain strength and energy
  • Learn the appropriate use of medications
  • Improve nutrition
  • Talk effectively with family, friends and health professionals
  • Understand new treatment choices
  • Feel better about life
Workshops will be held on Tuesdays from 4pm-6:30pm on the following days:
·         April 12
·         April 19
·         April 26
·         May 3
·         May 10
·         May 17
For more information, please call 716-878-2371.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Attention all Citizens, it's FREE CPR time!

Photo courtesy of Channel 6 News, Tulsa, OK
One of the best things about working here at the American Red Cross is that you’re required to attend certain trainings so that you learn more about what your employer does and also so that you’re “Red Cross Ready.”  But when I didn’t work here, finding the time to attend trainings was often daunting, and when re-certification time came around and I still hadn’t used my skills I often wondered… is it worth it? Well I now have that answer…  YES!!
As I’m sure you heard in the news, on January 8th of this year, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot and wounded.  Luckily, her intern had learned basic life saving skills at his high school so he knew just what to do after the Congresswoman was injured.  
“Congresswoman Giffords is alive today in part because a heroic individual was trained in basic first aid skills,” said Pia Carusone, the
congresswoman’s chief of staff.

Representative Gabrielle Giffords
Photo courtesy of RCSL NPRC blog

And that is just one of hundreds of stories in which having basic first-aid skills has saved a life.  So, ask yourself this, if you saw someone get injured, collapse or have a heart attack, would you know what to do?
In honor of Red Cross Month and Congresswoman Giffords, the Greater Buffalo Chapter will be offering two free, one-hour Citizens CPR training programs on Thursday, March 31st from 6-8pm here at the Chapter at 786 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo.

Photo courtesy of
Citizens CPR is a Hands-Only CPR that doesn’t require mouth-to-mouth breathing, and we recommend it for anyone that doesn’t need CPR certification.  It will not only give you the skills to be prepared to assist in an emergency situation but it will also give you the confidence to perform the skills if you ever need to.  
Normally $10.00, this training is being offered for free as part of a nation-wide initiative to train 5 million people in Citizens CPR over the next year to get our communities better prepared, so be sure to take advantage of this amazing opportunity!! Space is limited, so be sure to register today by calling 716.878.2387.

Monday, March 21, 2011

"Be Prepared"

It’s the familiar motto of the Boy Scouts of America: “Be Prepared.”  And it's one that we often harp on here at the American Red Cross.  That's why this past Saturday we partnered with the Scouts of West Seneca to open a shelter during a state-wide Disaster Drill. 
50 Boy Scouts helped by posing as "victims" in the West Seneca Shelter, while 55 other shelters were opened across the state my American Red Cross Chapters.  This drill, while helping our local Boy Scouts hone their incredible acting skills by allowing them to have injuries and other medical problems, allowed volunteers to gain expereience opening shelters and also helped us find areas in our disaster response plans that we need to improve so that when there is a disaster our response will be more effective.
While the "victims" and volunteers were working the shelter in West Seneca, the Chapter here in Buffalo was serving as the Emergency Operations Center, coordinating with regional Red Cross Chapters to make sure that the sheltering efforts across Western New York were running smoothly and fit the needs of the community.
“This drill gave us a chance to test our sheltering capacity, both as a Chapter and as a state,” said Kenneth Turner, Sr. Director of Emergency Services.  “It lets us know what the American Red Cross is capable of doing on any given day if a massive disaster, such as a hurricane on Long Island, were to strike.”
Although it isn't often that we see widespread disasters here in WNY, we did during the October Surprise storm of 2006.  Ever since this disaster, we have been working with Erie County’s Emergency Services, Senior Services, and Health Departments on plans to ensure residents with pre-existing health conditions receive necessary treatment at an emergency shelter.  Saturday's state-wide drill was our first opportunity to engage these new partnerships and set up and test the effectiveness of the Co-Location Sheltering program.   
“We had the opportunity to see how these operations will work, and answer any questions that may arise before we have to deal with an actual emergency,” Turner said.  Less than a week after the disaster drill, those involved will get together to go over what they learned and come up with a strategy to improve operations in the future.  “No matter what else the American Red Cross does following a disaster,” Turner added, “if we don’t shelter well, people will say our response was not successful.”
If you’d like to Join Us as a member of our Disaster Action Team and help us respond to local emergencies and help set up shelters during wide-spread disasters, please contact Mary Walls, Volunteer Coordinator, at 878-2140, or