Friday, July 22, 2011

Oh my lanta it is hot out… day 5!

Well WNY, we did it! Today is supposed to be the last day of this intense heat wave, and our weekend is looking to be in the 80’s, as it should be! Since it is Friday and a fabulous weekend is upon us, I thought I’d compile a little “things to do list” for the weekend so you can take full advantage of the cool down weather!

Photo courtesy of the blogA Mom Named Mindy
·         Come enjoy great food, music, games, and entertainment on the canal-side at this fun event!
·         10am-midnight
·         Bring the kids over to the Central Wharf to build their own colorful boat, inspired by the ones in the water at Explore and More!
·         12pm-4pm
·         $5/adults, children over 1/$5, children under 1/ free, WIC participants/free
·         Come visit the Kenan Center House Gallery and view the exhibit “A Walk in the Garden,” which features the work of 28 artists ranging from photography and watercolors, to ink drawings, aqua media, and pastels.
·         12pm-5pm
·         Free
·         Come enjoy great food, music, games, and entertainment on the canal-side at this fun event!
·         10am-midnight
Photo courtesy of
·         Bring the kids over to the Central Wharf to build their own colorful boat, inspired by the ones in the water at Explore and More!
·         12pm-4pm
·         $5/adults, children over 1/$5, children under 1/ free, WIC participants/free
       ·      Charging warhorses and thunderous hoof beats mark the start of Hawk Creek Wildlife Center’s WILD RENN FEST July 16, 17, 23, and 24, from 11:00am-4:00pm. The 24th annual festival is highlighted by nationally renowned TV host Jarod Miller of Animal Exploration, the brave knights of Brothers in Arms Jousting, and the aerial acrobatics of free flying birds during The Royal Tournament.
·         $14/adult, $11/ veteran, $11/senior, $8/ages 5-12, free/4 and under
·         $32 for a family pass (2 adults & 3 children).
·         Tour the perimeter of the largest and greatest of H.H. Richardson’s creations, surrounded by Olmsted landscaping
·         10am-12pm
$10/person, $5/student
·         This is the 4th annual 80’s Bash in Buffalo.  Join thousands of people rockin’ the night away to their favorite 80’s jams while dressed to the nines in their slap bracelets, miniskirts, and parachute pants!
·         7pm-1am
·         $25.00-$100.00
·         Come enjoy great food, music, games, and entertainment on the canal-side at this fun event!
·         10am-midnight
A Walk in the Garden Exhibit

·         Come visit the Kenan Center House Gallery and view the exhibit “A Walk in the Garden,” which features the work of 28 artists ranging from photography and watercolors, to ink drawings, aqua media, and pastels.
·         12pm-5pm
·         Free

·         $14/adult, $11/ veteran, $11/senior, $8/ages 5-12, free/4 and under
·         $32 for a family pass (2 adults & 3 children).
·         Tour the perimeter of the largest and greatest of H.H. Richardson’s creations, surrounded by Olmsted landscaping
·         10am-12pm
·         $10/person, $5/student
·         Visit Tifft Nature Preserve for a free guided tour!
·         2pm-3:30pm
·         Free
As always, stay safe in the heat, especially when you’re out having fun this weekend!!
Miss out one of the days of our “Oh my lanta it’s out out” series? Click on one of the following days to catch up! 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Oh my lanta it is hot out… day 4!!

Onward to day 4 of this atrocious heat wave, and it seems like we've covered the gambit on warm weather activities, so, we've decided to ask our staff and the community how they’re staying cool! 
Photo courtesy of
·         Mindy, one of our Facebook friends, told us they’re staying cool by playing in a tub full of cool water with the kids and munching on freezie pops

  •          Amanda, a Chapter employee, is visiting her friend’s house for dinner and a/c
  •          Adam, a Buffalonian, is planning on taking refuge in his house tonight, opening all the windows, turning on all of the fans, and hoping that a storm comes through to break this temperature
  •          Louise, a Chapter employee, is planning on drinking lots of Gatorade tonight, and hopefully getting someone to help install her air-conditioner!
  •          Jordan, a Buffalonian, is planning on visiting his friend’s house tonight for a cookout and pool party
  •          Faye, a Chapter employee, is going to be Canalside taking advantage of the cooler temperatures by the water while listening tonight’s concert series

What are you planning to do tonight to stay cool? Comment below and give your fellow WNYers some ideas on how they can cool down tonight!

First day to the “oh my lanta it is hot out series?” Click on the following days, 1, 2 and 3, to catch up on our tips!

For tips on how to stay safe in the heat, click here!

Weekly Worldwide Wrap-Up

Wondering what has been happening around the world with the Red Cross and Red Crescents? Well, thanks to Robin Parker, an amazing Red Cross/Blog Master from the Oregon Trail Chapter, you can find out! Below, she's compiled a non-comprehensive sampling of the larger and/or more intriguing aspects of the work we do internationally

Volunteers for the newly formed South Sudan Red Cross went out on their very first operation - monitoring and assisting people attending the celebrations to mark the birth of the Republic of Southern Sudan.

PAKISTAN: Volunteers are helping families prepare to face the oncoming monsoon season.

YEMEN: Since mid-June, the ICRC and the Yemen Red Crescent Society have provided aid for more than 17,500 people who have escaped the fighting in Abyan and settled in Lahj.

ZIMBABWE: Medical equipment donated by the ICRC is helping bring newborn babies back to life.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Oh my lanta it is hot out... day 3!

Did we all mishear the meteorologists this morning? It’s getting hotter AND muggier?! We didn't think it was possible, since even making a quick walk down the street has us feeling like we’ve run a mile. 

    Photo courtesy of
    Staying inside near the air conditioner and fans has been the solution to most of our heat related woes this summer season, and that’s whats being recommended by many new stations.  But what many people fail to realize when they’re talking about Buffalo is that a lot of us don’t have air conditioners! After all, summers here don’t last very long, and we don’t generally experience heat waves like this. So, if you’re one of the many living without an air-conditioned in your life, what are you to do?

    After much researching, this red crosser couldn't find much help for staying cool indoors, especially without air-conditioning, but I've included some of my own solutions below as well as some that I found perusing the web, and additions are always welcome!

    Some keeping cool indoor tips:
    • Keep the windows open and the blinds/shades drawn
    • Try not to use the stove/oven
    • Wash your hands in cold water
    •  Drink lots of iced water to stay hydrated
    •  Try to make meals as non-cook as possible or use a grill
    • Soak your feet in ice water or take a cool bath/shower
    •  Put an ice pack on your neck
    • Create as much air flow/cross ventilation as possible using windows and fans
    • Try to keep electronics, like the television, turned off
      • Games like scrabble, slap jack, checkers are fun and don’t require too much moving around, plus if everyone in your household is playing you can focus your fans on that part of the room to help cool off!
    As far staying SAFE during this atrocious heat wave, it’s important to remember that excessive heat can cause deaths and heat-related illnesses.  Because of this, Dr. David Markenson, of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council has provided us with some of the following tips:
    •  Never leave a child or pet in a parked car – even for a few minutes. The inside temperature of a car can quickly reach 120 degrees.
    •  Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day – even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol that dehydrate the body.
    • Dress for the heat. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing in layers. Avoid dark colors that absorb the sun’s rays.
    • If you must work outdoors, take frequent breaks to hydrate and cool yourself. Avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
    • Protect yourself from sun exposure even on cloudy or hazy days. In addition to dressing for heat, apply a broad-spectrum (protection against both UVA and UVB rays) sunscreen and reapply as indicated, wear eye protection (wraparound sunglasses that provide 100 percent UV ray protection) and wear a wide-brimmed hat.
    •  Be a good neighbor. Check in on the elderly, young children and pets to make sure they are not suffering from the heat.

    Want to learn more? Learn how to prevent and treat heat-related illnesses by attending a Red Cross First Aid course. Visit for details or to register.

    To see other ways to beat the heat, check out day 1 and 2 of our Oh My Lanta, It’s Hot Out series, and be sure to share your “stay cool” tips below! 

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    Oh my lanta it is hot out... day 2!

    As it is still quite toasty out, and it looks like it may continue to be all week, we thought it’d be great to highlight a fun cool down activity each day! And since I was reminded of this great idea right after I posted yesterday’s blog, I thought it would be great to mention today!

    Photo courtesy of the
    just get a small :)
    Go see a movie! Not only are theaters notoriously chilly, but you‘ll also get to see one of Hollywood’s latest hits and have something to talk about with your friends at lunch!  

    Some of the movies out in local theatres now are:
    • Cars 2
    • Larry Crowne
    • Midnight in Paris
    • Zoo Keeper
    • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 2
    • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
    • Winnie the Pooh

    Movie costs to pricey?

    Check out Movieland 8 Theatre in Cheektowaga! It’s very affordable and they have great popcorn and drink deals!


    Check out your local grocery store! They often have movie passes available at the Customer Service desk for cheaper then you’ll pay at your favorite theaters.

    Don’t want to drive all the way to the theater just for a movie? Visit your local mall’s theater and make a day of it! Shopping, eating, and a movie? That’s my idea of a perfect evening.

    As always, stay safe in the heat! And be sure to share your favorite cool down activities with us so your fellow WNYers can beat the heat!

    For tips on how to stay safe in all the heat, click here!

    To read yesterday's cool down tips, click here!

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    Oh my lanta it is hot out!

    Doesn't that looking calming and cool?!
    Photo courtesy of

    To help quell some of this insidious heat we thought that we’d share some of our favorite cool down spots and activities so that you can take a break from the heat.

    The gym- Most of them have air conditioning, so you can get in your full workout while staying out of that oppressive heat

    Water balloon fight- Oh sure, you can say you’re too old or “mature” to engage in this fantastically fun activity, but it’s a great way to cool off!

    Biking by the water- One of the great things about Buffalo is that you can get to the water pretty quickly by foot, automobile, or bike.  We love taking late evening rides along the lake and/or river, it’s great exercise, the breeze feels amazing, and you can cool off with a cone and your feet in the water

    Photo courtesy of
    Cold potato- A great activity we found on  You poke a hole in a balloon, fill it up with water, and then toss it around to your friends.  The object of the game is to not be the one holding the balloon when it’s out of water!

    Ice cream- Enough said!

    Car wash- Something I always remember about being a kid is that if it involved a water hose, I was in! And that went double for getting to wash a car or bike.  Sure, as we age the luster of going out to manually wash a car or bike dulls, but if you have kids, it’s a great way to get them out of the house, cool them down, and get a free car wash!

    The pool or beach- Always a staple and a sure way to cool down, but be sure that:
    ·         You’re swimming in a designated area
    ·         No one is ever swimming on their own
    ·         Children that cannot swim are wearing U.S. Coast Guard certified flotation devices
    o   Be sure that an adult is in the water with them within an arm’s reach  in case the child needs help
    ·         Someone knows CPR and basic first aid
    ·         You have immediate access to a phone
    ·         For more information on water safety, click here

    Creek walk- There are lots of creeks around WNY, and nothing is more cooling, relaxing, and fun then gathering up the family and walking in a creek and exploring! The most recent one I’ve visited is Eighteen Mile Creek.

    So, don’t spend all of your summer shut inside with your air-conditioner this summer! There is lots of fun to be had!
    Be sure to post your favorite summer cool down activities below to help your WNY neighbors have a more enjoyable season!
    For tips on how to stay safe in the heat, click here.

    Buffalo is getting hot!

    Photo courtesy of
    The temperature is finally starting to heat up around here! And as we start to get out and enjoy the weather we have to start being aware of how hot it actually is.  Excessive heat has caused more deaths than all weather related events, which means that we need to take some time to learn more about heat waves as well as the signs of heat stroke.
    A heat wave is generally when temperatures are 10 degrees or more above the average high temperature for the region during the summer months that last for a long period of time and occur with high humidity. 
    These events are normally accompanied by 3 types of heat weather warnings:
    ·         Excessive Heat Watch—Conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event to meet or exceed local Excessive Heat Warning criteria in the next 24 to 72 hours.
    ·         Excessive Heat Warning—Heat Index values are forecast to meet or exceed locally defined warning criteria for at least 2 days (daytime highs=105-110° Fahrenheit).
    ·         Heat Advisory—Heat Index values are forecast to meet locally defined advisory criteria for 1 to 2 days (daytime highs=100-105° Fahrenheit).
    Some signs of heat related health emergencies are as follows:
    ·        Heat cramps are caused by exposure to high heat and humidity and loss of fluids and electrolytes.
    o   The signs include: muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen.
    o   How to treat it: Move to a cool place; slowly drink cool water; remove tight clothing, apply cool compresses to skin.
    ·         Heat exhaustion normally involves the loss of body fluids through heavy sweating during strenuous exercise or physical labor in high heat and humidity. 
    o   The signs include: cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; exhaustion. 
    o   How to treat it: move the person to a cooler place; remove or loosen tight clothing; apply cool, wet clothes or towels to skin; fan the person; if conscious, give the person small amounts of cool water to drink… make sure they drink slowly; watch for changes in condition.
    §  If the person refuses water, is unconscious or vomits, call 9-1-1.
    ·         Heat stroke or sun stroke is a life-threatening condition which is caused by a person’s temperature control system not working, so the body is unable to cool itself. 
    o   The signs include: hot, red skin which may be moist or dry; changes in consciousness; vomiting; high body temperature
    o   How to treat it: Call 9-1-1 immediately; move the person to a cooler place; remove or loosen tight clothing; apply cool, wet clothes or towels to skin; fan the person; if conscious, give the person small amounts of cool water to drink… make sure they drink slowly; apply ice/cold packs wrapped in cloth to wrists, ankles, groin, neck, and armpits.
    For tips on how to prepare for a heat wave and what you should do during a heat wave, click here to view a Red Cross fact sheet!

    Sunday, July 17, 2011

    Because of you

    Tornadoes can come and go with little warning, causing a family to lose their home in an instant.  Families often have time to prepare for floods, but when the flood waters finally come in, they come in fast. In these darkest of times, individuals and families turned to the American Red Cross and its generous donors like you for shelter, food, emotional support, and emergency assistance. Missouri residents whose lives were turned upside down by the tornado were given vital necessities such as hot meals and snacks, hygiene kits, and health and mental health support. More than 390.000 meals and snacks were served at shelters and throughout the communities by Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles that were circulating through affected communities. American Red Cross President and CEO visited Joplin in the early days of the response. Moved by what she saw, she explained,

    “The devastation that I have seen is truly indescribable. Everywhere you look, buildings are toppled, homes are destroyed, things are in shards, and the community is working so hard to recover and bounce back. It’s heartbreaking, and I’m very very proud of what the American Red Cross is doing to help the people of Joplin. We have a shelter stood up where we are feeding and sheltering people who have lost everything. We have Emergency Response Vehicles that are driving through communities, delivering food, meals, snacks, clean-up kits, comfort kits. We have mental health counselors here providing psycho-social support for the people of Joplin. It is a massive undertaking.”
    Photo courtesy of the International Buisness Times
    As the Red Cross met the immediate needs of the people affected, Disaster Assessment (DA) teams were sent out to determine resources and staff that would be necessary for an efficient and effective response. Red Cross DA teams visited thousands of homes to determine the effect on residents and to make sure we help. Caseworkers are following up with these affected residents to help them get their lives back on track.
    As of June 27, 2011, the Red Cross has:
    • Opened 33 shelters for affected residents
    • Provided nearly 8,200 overnight shelter stays
    • Served more than 390,000 meals and snacks
    • Distributed more than 5,000 hygiene kits and clean-up kits, which includes essential items such as mops, dust masks, and gloves.
    • Provided approximately 175,000 bulk items, such as rakes and tarps
    • Enlisted the hard work of approximately 1,350 Red Cross workers
    • Deployed 36 Emergency Response Vehicles
    • Consulted nearly 15,000 affected residents on their health and mental health needs.
    With your support, the Red Cross can be there for families and individuals affected by disasters. Thank you for helping us continue this life saving work. Your support is critical to providing a safe, warm and dry place to stay, food, emotional support and many other kinds of assistance- whenever and wherever disaster strikes. 
    To learn how you can help, visit us online at
    Article and data courtesy of The American Red Cross.

    American Red Cross President & CEO visits Japan

    At the invitation of the Japanese Red Cross, American Red Cross President & CEO Gail McGovern spent four days traveling the affected areas of Japan, meeting with survivors and learning how American donations have been and will in the future be put to use in support of the country's relief and recovery efforts. 

    “It has been very gratifying for me to see the generosity of our country first hand and the impact that it is having,” she said as she finished a visit to Japan. “Despite all of the destruction that we witnessed, it’s really quite amazing to know that you are part of an organization, a movement, around the world that can make a difference.”

    To date, the American Red Cross has provided more than $103 million to the Japanese Red Cross and other humanitarian partners, making it one of the largest private, international contributors to the response.
    Within days after the tsunami, donations made to the American Red Cross began supporting relief efforts in the more than 2,000 evacuation shelters scattered across the devastated coastal communities as well as the Japanese Red Cross medical operation, which has included nearly 600 teams providing professional-level care.

    Within the first month, donations to the American Red Cross also had helped outfit nearly 3,000 pre-fabricated houses with six electrical appliances each. In the coming months, the Japanese government plans to construct more than 72,000 of these 320-square-foot, temporary homes wherever land in available, including playing fields on school campuses. The Red Cross will equip each house with a package of household items, including a stove, refrigerator and washing machine, which will help an estimated 280,000 people resume normal activities and jump start their recovery.

    As of April 25, the American Red Cross had raised more than $187 million for the Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami response. This figure includes more than $4.5 million in text donations. Following McGovern’s return to the U.S., the American Red Cross intends to make an additional contribution to support a variety of immediate relief and early recovery programs she witnessed first hand. Other installments will follow as pledges are fulfilled and donations are received.

    “This is the third time in just three years that I have gone into earthquake zones, and no matter how often I do this, I am never going to get used to it,” McGovern said. “It’s actually difficult to get your head around the extent of the destruction. Everything is in shreds. And then suddenly you’ll see a doll, a kid’s bicycle or a tea cup, and then the devastation becomes more real and more personal.”

    This is McGovern's first visit to the disaster zone following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. In her nearly three years as president and CEO of the American Red Cross, she also traveled to Haiti and China following catastrophic earthquakes there.

    To make a donation to the American Red Cross, please call 1-800-REDCROSS, text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10.00, or visit us online