Friday, March 8, 2013

Daylight Savings Time Begins This Weekend

Red Cross recommends checking smoke alarm batteries and updating emergency plans

It’s time to turn the clocks ahead this weekend, when daylight savings time officially begins at 2:00am Sunday, March 10. The American Red Cross urges everyone to use this time to prepare yourself and your loved ones for emergencies.

          Check your smoke alarm batteries: When you turn the clocks ahead, take a few minutes to replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and push the test button to make sure the alarms are working. It is also a great time to check your carbon monoxide detectors.

·         Get your household prepared: It’s important for everyone to make sure their household is ready and knows what to do should an emergency occur. The Red Cross wants everyone to know about the three steps they should take to be prepared:
1.       Get a Kit: Keep supplies in an easy-to-carry preparedness bag that you can use at home or take with you if you have to evacuate.
2.      Make a Plan: Meet with members of your household and discuss what emergencies could occur in your home, taking into account what type of disasters could happen in your neighborhood. Plan what steps everyone should if something happens.
3.      Be Informed: Learn what emergencies can occur in your area, and how officials will notify you should a disaster occur. Know the difference between weather watches and warnings. Tell others what you have learned so they can be ready, too.

Additional emergency preparedness tips are available at, and you can schedule a free emergency preparedness education program at your school, business or other organization by calling (716) 886-7500.

Disaster can strike anywhere, anytime. To date, the American Red Cross, Serving Erie and Niagara Counties has responded to 43 fires in 2013, providing immediate emergency assistance including temporary housing, food and clothing to 229 people. The Red Cross spends an average of just over $1,000 when responding to a single house fire affecting a family of four.  To make a financial donation to help families affected by house fires and other disasters, please visit, call 1-800-REDCROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to charge a $10 donation to your cell phone bill.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto!

No, Western New York is not in Kansas. But Dorothy may be surprised to know that we seem to have a few tornado warnings here every year, including some actual tornado touchdowns. During this National Severe Weather Preparedness Week, the Red Cross has launched an new Tornado App that puts help right into the hands of people who live in or visit tornado-prone regions. Best of all, it’s free and available for iPhone, iPad and Android smart phone and tablet users. The Red Cross app gives people instant access to local and real time information on what to do before, during and after tornadoes.
The app, available in English and Spanish, has a number of features including a high-pitched siren and “tornado warning!” alert that signals when a NOAA tornado warning is in effect. An “all clear!” alert lets users know when a tornado warning has expired or has been cancelled. People who are out of harm’s way can quickly tap the “I’m safe” button to send a message letting loved ones and friends know they are okay.

People across the country can now receive location-based NOAA tornado, severe thunderstorm and flood alerts on their mobile devices and share them on their social networks. Users can share vital information via Facebook, Twitter, text and email. Even if someone doesn’t live in a tornado-prone area, users can have peace of mind knowing they’ll have instant information about loved ones who live in other parts of the country.

Other features of the app include:
·         Simple steps and checklists people can use to create an emergency plan and share it with household members;
·         Preloaded preparedness content that gives instant access to critical action steps even without mobile connectivity;
·         Toolkit with a flashlight, a strobe light and an audible alarm;
·         Locations of open Red Cross shelters; and
·         Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.

Red Cross First Aid, Hurricane, Earthquake and Wild Fire Apps have already been downloaded more than 2 million times. People have not only downloaded the apps, but have used them to track storms, let loved ones know that they are safe, find Red Cross shelter locations and access other recovery resources. Download the apps today. The Tornado App, along with the others, can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to

While apps can help prepare you for disasters, they are not a substitute for training. Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED training empowers people to know how to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed. Go to for information and to register.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The BASH to Celebrate 15th Anniversary June 7

Tickets for “Buffalo’s Best Annual Fundraiser” on sale now
This party is going to be big! The BASH is celebrating its 15th Anniversary on Friday, June 7, and tickets for this one-of-a-kind, military-themed fundraiser are available now at

Over 4,000 people will wear their best military gear to the American Red Cross headquarters at 786 Delaware Avenue to enjoy food and drink from some of the area’s best restaurants while dancing the night away to the music of Signature Entertainment’s DJs and a live performance by the one and only Lance Diamond. BASH*2013 guests will also have the opportunity to bid on dozens of unique auction items donated by members of the Western New York community, including vacations, original works of art, jewelry and much more. All proceeds from The BASH stay right here to support the American Red Cross, Serving Erie & Niagara Counties’ mission of preventing, preparing for and responding to disaster in Western New York. Last year, BASH*2012 raised over $360,000 to support Red Cross Emergency Services.

BASH*2013 General Admission tickets are available for purchase online at Each $75 ticket comes with two free drink tickets and all the food you can eat. For an even better deal, a limited number raffle tickets are available by calling (716) 878-2235. For $100, you get two General Admission tickets plus the chance to win $10,000, $5,000, or $2,500 in the BASH Raffle. Details on how to purchase raffle tickets, receive VIP benefits by becoming a BASH sponsor and how to purchase a special edition BASH t-shirt are also available at
The BASH has been named “Buffalo’s Best Annual Fundraiser” by Artvoice five times, and this year’s 15th Anniversary celebration will be better than ever. This party is big, but tickets are limited so get yours now and make sure you’re not shut out. Follow us on Twitter @redcrossBASH and for the latest on The Party of the Summer!