Are You a Storyteller? The Red Cross Needs You.

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The important emergency response work done by the American Red Cross is done by a workforce that is made up of 90% volunteers. In New Hampshire and Vermont, that number is closer to 98% . Without volunteers, this work could simply not be done.

If our local population doesn’t hear about the work these volunteers do, it’s difficult for us to find new volunteers or reach people who may need our help.

For this reason, we’re looking for New Hampshire / Vermont residents to help us tell the Red Cross stories that happen every single day. We’re looking for people who enjoy working as writers, journalists, photographers and videographers. The work isn’t “all the time,” but when disaster strikes we need the help.

Red Cross storytellers are a part of a professional volunteer team that develops and delivers the Red Cross story behind-the-scenes, on-camera, in-person and online through media channels, websites, social media feeds and other content platforms.

There are a number of jobs that need to be done. People who would like to focus in one area, as well as generalists are welcome. It’s great experience for your resume too!

Blue Sky (non-disaster) Operations could include the following:

  • News Releases, FAQs and/or Talking Points for special projects such as events and initiatives, New Board Member Announcements, Corporate Recognition and more
  • Project Manager – scheduling calls and follow-up on action items for the Communications department such as scheduling rotating meetings and sending out updated information to people who need it, oversee deadlines for other workers, etc.
  • With training, serve as the spokesperson through one-take video projects
  • Upload smart phone photos and posts to Red Cross social sites
  • Represent the American Red Cross as a guest speaker or agency representative at community events
During Gray Sky (large scale disaster) Operations, you may carry out the same duties from:
  • Red Cross shelters
  • Warehouses
  • Disaster Command Center
  • Headquarters
  • Partner Organizations

Qualifications preferred:

  • Willingness to learn media relations
  • Background in Red Cross response (training provided), branding and messaging
  • Submission of news releases, video clips on on-camera work or equivalent work samples preferred but not required
  • Background in branding and messaging preffered but not required

Time Commitment

  • Blue Sky operations assignments will be provided in advance with deadlines, approximately 5-15 hours per month, or more if you like
  • Scheduling opportunities are available for grey sky operations

If you’re interested, email lloyd.ziel@redcross.org for more information.

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Top Ten Red Cross Cold Weather Safety Tips

As temperatures drop this winter, the American Red Cross offers ten steps people can take to stay safe during the cold weather.

1. Layer up! Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing your body heat.

2. Don’t forget your furry friends. Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.

3. Remember the three feet rule. If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs.

4. Requires supervision – Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.

5. Don’t catch fire! If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.

6. Protect your pipes. Run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.

7. Better safe than sorry. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.

8. The kitchen is for cooking. Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.

9. Use generators outside. Never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.

10. Knowledge is power. Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.

For more information on how to stay safe during the cold weather, visit winter storm safety.

10 Holiday Travel Tips That Will Have You Asking for Seconds

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Millions of people are expected to travel over the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, and the American Red Cross is offering tips travelers can follow as they visit loved ones over the long weekend.

More vehicles are expected on the highways, making travel risks greater. Bad weather and distracted drivers also add to the danger, so plan ahead and expect delays.

DRIVING SAFETY

  1. Make sure your car is in good condition for a road trip.
  2. Pack an emergency preparedness kit and supplies in the trunk.
  3. Share travel plans with a family member or friend.
  4. Check the weather along your route and plan for travel around any storms that may be coming.
  5. Be well rested and alert.
  6. Buckle up, slow down, and don’t drive while impaired.
  7. Follow the rules of the road and use caution in work zones.
  8. Give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
  9. Make frequent stops. During long trips, rotate drivers. If you’re too tired to drive, stop and get some rest.
  10. If you have car trouble, pull of the road as far as possible.

OTHER SAFETY TIPS

Winter weather:

  • Keep the car’s gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Pull over and stay with your vehicle. Do not try to walk to safety.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) to the antenna for rescuers to see.
  • Start the car and use the heater for about 10 minutes every hour. Keep the exhaust pipe clear so fumes won’t back up in the car.
  • Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running to help rescuers see the vehicle.
  • Keep one window slightly open – away from the blowing wind – to let in air.

Public transportation and preventing the spread of the flu virus:

  • Everything you touch is likely touched by someone else – luggage, seats, etc. – which is how germs are spread.
  • Handle your own belongings. Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Carry hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes with you. You can use them to wash your hands or wipe down surfaces such as armrests.
  • Bring your own pillows and blankets – they can act as a shield against the seat itself.
  • Avoid touching your face or eyes. If you have to cough or sneeze, do so into a tissue or your sleeve.

 

DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS

People can download the Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to weather alerts for their area and where loved ones live. Expert medical guidance and a hospital locator are included in the First Aid App in case travelers encounter any mishaps. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps.

The Red Cross is Calling All New Hampshire / Vermont Residents for Nominations for Their “Everyday Heroes”

everyday-heroes-awards-logo Every day, ordinary people make extraordinary contributions by putting their own needs aside to help others in our community. The American Red Cross is calling on all New Hampshire and Vermont residents to nominate someone for the “Everyday Heroes Awards,” an annual event that salutes these often unsung heroes.

This year, the American Red Cross and MyNews5 are asking the residents of New Hampshire and Vermont to nominate a friend, a co-worker or someone they know for the “Everyday Heroes Awards” so that someone who has done something extraordinary can be honored for their selfless acts.

A hero might be someone simply lending a helping hand or someone who’s saved a life.

Possible nomination categories could include:

  • Good Samaritan (over 18 or under 18)
    • Citizen responsible for an extraordinary act of heroism or courage
  • Military member
    • Member of the armed forces (active or retired, commissioned or non-commissioned) whose lifesaving action went above and beyond the call of duty – this award may be awarded posthumously
  • Fire Fighter
    • Professional or volunteer fire fighter or emergency dispatch operator whose lifesaving action went above and beyond the call of duty
  • Law Enforcement
    • Law enforcement agent whose lifesaving actions went above and beyond the call of duty
  • International Services
    • Individual, group or company in recognition of their commitment to humanitarian efforts in other parts of the world
  • Animal Rescue
    • An animal that saved the life of a human, an ordinary citizen who used lifesaving skills to save the life of an animal(s), or to an individual involved in the care of animals.
  • Aquatics
    • Lifeguard or ordinary citizen whose lifesaving action was able to prevent a serious water-related injury or drowning
  • Medical Professional
    • Doctor, nurse or EMT whose lifesaving actions went above and beyond the call of duty
  • Community Impact
    • Presented to a community group, neighborhood organization or local company that consistently demonstrates a commitment to making their community a safer and more compassionate community
  • Community Service
    • Individual in recognition of volunteering their time to help others in the community
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
    • Individual in recognition of their lifelong dedication and consistent support to further a cause that benefits the community

(The above are nomination suggestions – each category may not be awarded.)

               

Everyday Heroes Nominees must meet the following criteria:
1. Nominee must be a resident of New Hampshire.
2. The heroic act/rescue must have taken place between December 1, 2016 and November 30, 2017.

Nominations are being accepted now through Dec. 15, 2017.

To nominate a Hero in New Hampshire, go to the New Hampshire nomination page.

To nominate a Hero in Vermont, go to the Vermont nomination page.

The winners will be honored at the Everyday Heroes Awards event in each state.

New Hampshire: On Wednesday, April 18, 2018 the Everyday Heroes Awards will take place at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, NH. The address is 70 Constitution Ave., Concord, NH 03301. The event will begin at 5:30pm and run to 8:30pm.

Vermont: Vermont winners will be honored at the Everyday Heroes Awards event on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel. The address is 870 Williston Rd. Burlington, VT 05403. The event will begin at 5:30pm and run to 8:30pm.

Winners will be awarded in the company of their loved ones, and possibly the people they helped. Videos showcasing their stories will be shown for an evening of stories that align with the Fundamental Principles of the American Red Cross. More information on the event can be found here.

10 Holiday Cooking Safety Tips from Red Cross

cooking-tip-stayinthekitchenMillions of people will gather for Thanksgiving to enjoy time with loved ones and a delicious holiday dinner. And in preparation, many revelers are cooking and concocting elements of their meals in the coming days. With cooking being the number one cause of home fires, the New Hampshire / Vermont Region of the American Red Cross recommends that everyone follow these fire safety steps:

  1. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year if your smoke alarm requires it.
  2. Don’t wear loose clothing or sleeves that dangle while cooking.
  3. If you are frying, grilling or broiling food, never leave it unattended – stay in the kitchen. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  4. If you’re simmering, baking, roasting or broiling food, check it regularly.
  5. Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.
  6. Keep kids and pets away from the cooking area. Make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
  7. Keep anything that can catch fire – pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels or curtains – away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
  8. Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
  9. Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
  10. Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.

Bonus Tip

The Red Cross First Aid App provides expert advice for common mishaps or emergencies including cuts, burns and what to do if someone is choking. Download the app for free in your app store or text GETFIRST to 90999.

National Fire Prevention Week Good Time to Brush Up on Preparedness

 

American Red Cross Urges People to Prevent Home Fires

National Fire Prevention Week is a perfect time to start

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CONCORD, NH. / BURLINGTON, VT., Monday, October 9, 2017 — The American Red Cross is asking every household in America to take some simple steps that can help prevent home fires and save lives.

“People don’t realize just how little time we have to get out of our homes in the case of a fire,” said Lloyd Ziel, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer the for American Red Cross in New Hampshire and Vermont. “National Fire Prevention Week is a perfect time for New Hampshire and Vermont residents to learn what they should do to prevent a fire in their home, and what preparation they should take to ensure everyone in the family knows how to get out.”

INSTALL AND TEST SMOKE ALARMS Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half:

  • Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms.
  • Test smoke alarms once a month.
  • Change the batteries at least once a year – if your model requires it.
  • Replace smoke alarms every ten years.

 

MAKE A PLAN People may only have two minutes to escape when a fire occurs. The Red Cross recommends that households develop a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year. Everyone should know two ways to escape from every room and designate a safe place to meet outside the home in case of a fire. Discuss the plan with all household members and practice it until everyone – including children – can escape in less than two minutes. You can find more tips in this video.

 

DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross Emergency App includes content on how to prevent home fires and what to do if one occurs. Parents can download the Monster Guard App to help their children learn what to do and how to protect themselves. Both apps can be downloaded for free in app stores or by going to redcross.org/apps.

 

JOIN THE RED CROSS HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN The American Red Cross and partners across the country have set a goal to install 4,000 smoke alarms in homes in New Hampshire and Vermont as part of the ongoing Red Cross Home Fire Campaign. The multi-year campaign kicked off in October of 2014 with a goal to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent. Working with fire departments and community groups across the entire country, the Red Cross installs smoke alarms in homes in neighborhoods at high risk for home fires.

 

People can join the Red Cross effort to save lives, reduce injuries and cut down on needless losses from home fires by making a financial donation to the Home Fire Campaign by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800 REDCROSS or texting FIRE to 90999. Their gift to Home Fires enables the Red Cross to provide critical services to people impacted by home fires along with the lifesaving tools and information to support home fire prevention efforts. People can also help by becoming a Red Cross volunteer.

 

Additional information on home fire safety and the Home Fire Campaign is available at redcross.org/homefires.

 

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

 

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Red Cross Seeks Volunteers to Help Install Smoke Alarms During Sound the Alarm Events in Manchester, New Hampshire

145733 Home Fire National Installation Logo FINALS

The American Red Cross is seeking people to volunteer their time and help save lives at the Sound the Alarm home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events on both Saturday, October 7 and October 14 at 8:30am.

Sound the Alarm in New Hampshire and be part of the nationwide Red Cross effort to help reduce the number of deaths and injuries from home fires,” said Maria Devlin, Chief Executive Officer for the American Red Cross in New Hampshire and Vermont. “By volunteering with the Red Cross, you can truly make a difference in someone’s life. Please join us and help Sound the Alarm by volunteering for one of the events in October. Better yet, join us for both!”

If you are interested in volunteering to educate people about home fire safety and install free smoke alarms, you can sign up at http://www.redcross.org/local/new-hampshire-vermont/home-fire-safety to help Sound the Alarm.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters a year, the majority of which are home fires. Working smoke alarms in a home cut the risk of death by half, and having an escape plan further improves the odds of survival. The Red Cross wants to end these tragedies and save lives, the reason why the organization launched the Home Fire Campaign in 2014.

Across the country, the Campaign is making a difference. As of the beginning of July, the Red Cross and our partners across the country have saved nearly 260 lives; reached more than 858,000 through youth preparedness programs, and installed nearly 887,000 free smoke alarms. Here in New Hampshire and Vermont, the Red Cross has installed more than 5,000 free smoke alarms since the campaign began – one of which saved a man’s life in Portsmouth, NH last February.

To learn more about the Home Fire Campaign, visit redcross.org. Please help us Sound the Alarm by volunteering to install smoke alarms, making a financial contribution, or taking steps to protect your own family from home fires.