Friday, June 24, 2011

Join Buffalo Tours for a historic visit to our building!

One thing that everyone marvels at when I tell them where I work is… you work in that gorgeous mansion on Delaware?! They of course always follow that up with questions about what I do with the Red Cross inside the amazing building, but they always come back to questions about the origin of the building, and how all of us here at the Chapter got the amazing opportunity to work in a building with such a great history, fantastic architecture, the occasional mysterious smell of roses, and the late night walking of feet from an unknown source!!
Our building was commissioned by the late Stephen M. Clement, then president of the Marine National Bank.  It was built in 1912 at a cost of $300,000 and was designed by prominent Buffalo architect E.B. Green, designer of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Buffalo Saving Bank.  The exterior of the house is constructed of a grey Medina sandstone, while the interior doors, archways, floors and mantels boast imported marble.  There is also a large circular limestone staircase, as well as a copper lined elevator, the first of its kind in a Buffalo residence, and is still in use today!
Unfortunately, Clement never lived in the home that he envisioned and commissioned.  After his death in 1913, the house was occupied by his widow, Carolyn Tripp Clement, the six Clement children, and eventually later generations of the family.
In 1941 Mrs. Clement donated the house to the Greater Buffalo Chapter of the American Red Cross.  In an interview Mrs. Clement said, “I shall be amply rewarded through knowing that my home will be used by the American Red Cross.. There is no other organization to which I would rather give it… it serves day in and day out in times of war as well as in times of peace.”  The building served as a base for thousands of volunteers during World War II and the ensuing decades. 
To learn more about this amazing piece of architecture that sits at 786 Delaware Avenue, right here in Western New York, join us tomorrow (Saturday 6/25/2011) on a tour with Buffalo Tours!
When: June 25, 2011 10am-3pm
Where: 641 Delaware Avenue, the Wilcox Mansion/Teddy Roosevelt House
How to purchase tickets: Call (716) 852-3300, click here, or purchase the day of the event.
Cost: $25 per person ($20 for members) before 4:30pm on 6/24 or $30 the day of event

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Buffalonian travels!

As we’ve mentioned before, in order to be prepared you have to be informed, and after my recent trip to Florida, I was thankful for all of my time here at the Red Cross learning about preparedness!! For this Buffalonian who can count on one hand how many times she’s left New York, Florida was definitely a culture shock.  The beautiful palm tree studded streets and lovely ocean view was enough to make me feel like I was visiting a foreign land, and although it was difficult getting used to sitting on the beach, I managed… however; it is so HOT in the South!!

Photo courtesy of

Every day of my visit, the temperature was at least 100 degrees and muggy, and when I traveled up to visit Savannah, Georgia the temperature was a jaw dropping 107 degrees… I always thought people were just over exaggerating, but it turns out, thermometers really can go that high!! To top it off, it was smoky because of all of the wildfires burning throughout the southern states. 
Smoke can invariably cause allergies and breathing distress and extreme heat can cause dehydration and heat stroke, all of which I’ve researched and wrote about in this blog, so I was alert of how I was feeling and making sure that everyone I was with was:
·         Hydrated
·         Not outside when the smoke was particularly heavy
·         Taking the proper medication if sensitive to Florida’s environment
·         Taking full advantage of the cooling powers of the pool and ocean… with the buddy system in place of course!
Now that I’m back in Buffalo with a little more knowledge of the world and how things in other places work, I am much more informed, aware, and prepared, of the type of research and information people should look for before traveling so that they can be prepared for air quality issues, temperature differences and heat related emergencies, which I hope you are as well from reading!
If you’ve had any similar situations that you were or weren’t prepared for when traveling, please comment below so that your experiences can help others!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Everyone into the pool!

Photo courtesy
Summer officially began yesterday afternoon, which means children of all ages will be diving into the water over the next few months.  While swimming can be a fun way to cool off while the temperature climbs, it's important to make sure it's done safely.

Even if you don't have a full above- or in-ground pool, you may have a portable pool in your backyard for the kids to enjoy.  While the water in these plastic or inflatable pools may not be as deep as in an inground pool, a person can drown in just an inch of water.  A recent Nationwide Children's Hospital study found that a child dies every five days in a portable pool, almost always in their own backyard.

So what can be done to make sure make sure we're enjoying this summer pastime safely?  Our Shoshone Dentice shared some pool safety tips on the CW23's "Winging It! Buffalo Style" this morning.  By following a few simple rules, you can help prevent drownings regardless of where the water is:
  • Make water safety a priority.  Teach children to always ask permission to go near or in the water.  Ensure that everyone in the family learns how to swim well.  The Red Cross offers comprhensive learn-to-swim programs for children and adults--you can sign up to take a class here.
  • Prevent unsupervised access to water.  Empty and store smaller pools immediately after use.  If you have a larger portable pool, treat it like an above-ground pool.  Remover ladders and secure the safety cover when the pool is not use.  Install pool barriers such as fencing to keep children from wandering into the water accidentally.
  • Maintain constant supervision.  NEVER leave children unattended near water.  Always stay withing arms reach of young children, and avoid distractions when supervising children around the water.
  • Know what to do in an emergency.  Every second counts when it comes to preventing death or disability.  If a child is missing, check the water first.  Make sure the entire family is trained in CPR so they'll know what to do in case of an emergency.  Register for a Red Cross First Aid/CPR class here.
If you are lucky enough to own a pool, the Red Cross has an online safety course that teaches the fundamentals of creating and maintaining a safe environment.