Friday, July 19, 2013

Want to join "Team Red Cross"? There's an app for that!

We all know that the good people of Western New York always want to help out their neighbors in need. After a disaster, people step up not only with financial support but with a desire to volunteer, especially if that disaster occurs in our own back yard. The problem is, they may not know how to help. Well now, there's an app for that!

The American Red Cross launched the Team Red Cross App this week, which allows people to sign up to help, get an overview on basic tasks and receive notifications about Red Cross disaster volunteer opportunities in their community.

Once you download the app, you need to create an account. Then you'll learn about different jobs, such as working in a warehouse, handing out supplies or assisting with feeding. When the Red Cross has a need for volunteers, the Team Red Cross App will notify you based on their location, and you can instantly accept or decline the volunteer opportunity.

The best time to download the Team Red Cross App is now, BEFORE a disaster strikes in WNY so you can help immediately.

The app is free and designed for iPhone and A

ndroid smart phones and tablets. Additional features include:
  • A quick orientation right on the mobile device.
  • Ability to share notifications for volunteers with your social network.
  • Earn digital “badges” by completing a job test, accepting a job, sharing the app, recruiting volunteers, etc. The “badges” can then be shared with your social network.
  • Allows you to donate money to the Red Cross and sign up to donate blood.
  • Offers emergency response information that you can share with their friends at the touch of a button.
The Team Red Cross App is the seventh in a series of highly successful Red Cross apps, which are now on more than 3 million mobile devices across the country. A recent Red Cross survey shows that apps are now tied with social media as the fourth most popular way to get information during emergencies—behind TV, radio and online news sites. Nearly one-fifth of Americans say they’ve received some kind of emergency information from an app they’ve downloaded, making the Red Cross apps an important way for the public to get ready for disasters.

The Team Red Cross App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store by searching for American Red Cross or by going to We look forward to having you join our team!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Red Cross Issues Tips to Stay Safe as Temperatures Rise

High heat and humidity forecast for much of week

BUFFALO, NY, July 15, 2013 - Summer is here, bringing with it dangerous excessive heat. The American Red Cross has steps people can follow to stay safe as the temperatures soar.

“Excessive heat can be deadly; it has caused more deaths in recent years than all other weather events,” said Kenneth Turner, Chief Disaster Officer for the Western New York and Finger Lakes Regions. “We want everyone to stay safe during the hot weather and have some reminders for them to follow when the weather is hot and humid.”

NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN, PETS IN THE CAR. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees. Other heat safety steps include:
§  Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
§  Avoid extreme temperature changes.
§  Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
§  Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
§  Postpone outdoor games and activities.
§  Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
§  Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
§  Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.
§  If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should choose places to go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).

HEAT EXHAUSTION Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

If someone is experiencing heat cramps in the legs or abdomen, get them to a cooler place, have them rest, lightly stretch the affected muscle, and replenish their fluids with a half a glass (about 4 ounces) of cool water every 15 minutes. 

If someone is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion (cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness exhaustion), move them to a cooler place, remove or loosen tight clothing and spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If they are conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

HEAT STROKE IS LIFE-THREATENING. Signs include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting and high body temperature. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. Otherwise, douse or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.

For more information on what to do when temperatures rise, people can visit, download the Red Cross Heat Wave Safety Checklist, or download the free Red Cross First Aid. The app is available for iPhone and Android smart phone and tablet users in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. People can learn how to treat heat-related and other emergencies by taking First Aid and CPR/AED training online or in person. Go to for information and to register.