Monday, August 29, 2016

Story and Photos by Walt Palmer, American Red Cross

Justin Israel sleeps on his left side, mostly, but frequently switches to his right side. It makes little difference in his life. His brother sleeps on his right side, because when he switches to his left side (which he frequently does when he is asleep) he enters a world of silence.
Justin has his new smoke alarm all set and
ready to go .

 Justin and his brother are both hearing impaired. Justin completely, his brother on his right side.

It's a big concern for their mother, Robyn Carr, because her two teen boys could not hear a regular smoke alarm if it went off at night while they slept. Just one of the many things that worries a mother and keeps her awake at night. Robyn's father was also deaf and she remembers that he had no technology to assist him with living his life. Now she has to worry about her sons. She really appreciates the technology available to those who need it today."I have tried for years to get an alarm that would work for them," She said. "I want to thank the Red Cross for making our lives safer." 

Robyn and Justin hold the new smoke alarm
at their home in Colorado Springs.
I met Robyn and Justin as part of a Red Cross team that was installing a special fire alarm in their apartment. The alarm, the "Lifetone HL", works by vibrating the bed to wake the occupant. At 17, Justin was all over the technology side of things. Installation is very straightforward and the alarm works with others already in the apartment. In a matter of minutes, Justin was testing it to make sure it was going to wake him in an emergency. He took a brief aside to actually set the built in alarm clock and put it next to his bed. Just one of the many things a teenager has to ignore each day. 

The Red Cross has documented hundreds of lives saved through our Home Fire Campaign. Our goal is to reduce home fire related deaths and injuries by 25 percent. We do that by installing smoke alarms in homes. The alarm and installation are absolutely free - just call your local Red Cross and ask about a smoke alarm.

For more information about the Home Fire Campaign and fire safety visit our web site at

Monday, August 22, 2016

A place to go when there is no place to go!

By Bill Fortune

Sandra's story from the Louisiana floods

It’s been a week after historic flooding in Louisiana devastated tens of thousands of lives, and the work of the Red Cross is just beginning. Red Cross workers are providing shelter, food and comfort right now, and will continue to be there in the weeks and months ahead, helping residents recover from this massive disaster.

· More than 1,700 Red Crossers – including some virtual workers helping online – from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are supporting Louisiana relief efforts. In addition, hundreds of local residents have volunteered.

Large disasters like this flooding create more needs than any one organization can meet, and the Red Cross is working closely with the entire response community – federal, state, county and local agencies, other non-profit organizations, churches, area businesses and others – to coordinate relief efforts and deliver help quickly and efficiently, keeping in mind the diverse needs of the community.

· Some of these partners include Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, the NAACP, Islamic Relief USA, Church of the Brethren Children’s Disaster Services, AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, Verizon, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Americares, Jet Blue, Operation HOPE, Legal Services Corporation among others.

· The Red Cross will be working closely with partners in the days ahead to ensure people receive the help they need as quickly as possible.

The Red Cross urgently needs you to join us in supporting Louisiana by making a financial donation today.
· Help people affected by the Louisiana Floods by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.· Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters.

Colorado and Wyoming Red Crossers Continue to Deploy

By Bill Fortune

Bringing Help and Hope is First Priority

Denver – August 22, 2016, Noon — The Red Cross has been responding to the call for help from people affected by the Louisiana Floods and the California Fires. 

Blue Cut Fire in California – The Blue Cut Fire forced the evacuation of 82,000 people and more than 230 people stayed at 7 Red Cross and community shelters near by. Two volunteers from Colorado have deployed to help with the Blue Cut Fire response near San Bernardino, CA. Eugene McGuire will support sheltering in California and Nina Page, a Red Cross Nurse, will provide minor medical support at a shelter. There are seven shelters open in the area with over 230 people residing. Both of these volunteers are from the Red Cross of the Mile High Area.

Louisiana Floods
The Red Cross called this disaster response, "the biggest disaster response since Hurricane Sandy" and the stories suggest that it is indeed that bad. It has been estimated that 40,000 homes have been inundated or affected by flood waters. More than 10,000 people have stayed in Red Cross shelters since the flooding began. Some of the people affected were also impacted by Hurricane Katrina nearly 11 years ago. To them this disaster is particularly disheartening.

One Family's Story
Tenisha Longmire and her three young children are safe in a Red Cross shelter in 
Tenisha Longmire watches her 2 year old son at the
Red Cross shelter in Baton Rouge, LA.
Photo by Red Cross
Baton Rouge. But her journey to safety was frightening. After running to the store to stock up on supplies, Longmire couldn’t get home to her children because of the flooding. Her mother took the kids in, but Longmire couldn’t get to them. She slept in her car for several days until she reunited with her family. Then the family looked for a place to stay, but some places said they had no room. “I felt ashamed,” Longmire said. “But you folks…the Red Cross…you welcomed us….me…my kids. You folks have been so wonderful. I don’t know what we are going to do or where we are going to go, but I’ll never forget how kind your volunteers have been to us. You’ve treated us like family. Thank you, Red Cross.”

Volunteers Make It Happen
Jessica Clark, a Red Cross volunteer from Birmingham,
 Alabama, gives a flood clean-up kit and water
 to Cedric Batise during a relief supply distribution
 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Batise is a Red Cross 
volunteer whose home was flooded. Photo by
Red Cross
The Red Cross has deployed more than 1500 volunteers from around the country. Volunteers from Colorado and Wyoming have stepped up to join the massive humanitarian effort. They are giving time and energy to those in need. Since the flooding began we deployed 17 volunteers and 2 staff members to help in Louisiana. A typical deployment for a disaster response is 14 to 21 days. During those days the volunteers work 12 to 14 hour days helping people. Some help by delivering food or cleanup items. Some help at shelters making sure people are comfortable and that they have what they need. Others provide medical support to get additional medications, checking blood pressure or helping the elderly or people with special needs while others provide that very important emotional support. 

In addition we have seven volunteers who are supporting the disaster response virtually from home. These volunteers work shifts at home waiting for calls from people in Louisiana. They work directly with individuals whose homes have been impacted.
 That brings the total number of Colorado and Wyoming volunteers involved in the Louisiana response to 24 plus two staff members. 

FINDING LOVED ONES Residents of the affected areas can connect with their loved ones by using the “I’m Safe” button on the Red Cross Emergency App which is free and can be found in the app store for someone’s mobile device by searching for “American Red Cross” or by going to

People can also visit to register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website, a secure and private way that friends and family connect. The site also allows people to update their status on Facebook and Twitter.

BECOME A VOLUNTEER To become a Red Cross volunteer, visit today to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application.

HOW TO HELP People can donate by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recovery from these disasters.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Red Cross Jobs in Colorado and Wyoming

Are you looking for a career with the American Red Cross? We have tons of openings across the country in a wide variety of positions. Go to our Red Cross Career site and search for jobs across the country.

Looking for a job in Colorado and Wyoming? Check out these openings:

Lead Specialist
Denver, CO | RC1083

Regional Volunteer Services Officer
Denver, CO | RC1100

Disaster Program Manager
Denver, CO | RC1248

Regional Communications Director
Denver, CO | CHAP65853  

Disaster Program Specialist
Cheyenne, WY | RC1672 | Posted Yesterday

Check out these videos to learn more about the  American Red Cross:

Red Cross Helps West Virginia: 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Red Cross assists residents evacuated from Hunter Peak

 By Pat Kondas

Hunter Peak Fire. Photo courtesy InciWeb
Red Cross of Wyoming is assisting a family evacuated from their home due to the Hunter Peak fire northwest of Cody, WY. The people received assistance for immediate needs and lodging. Further assistance will be provided as needed.
Approximately 15 homes were evacuated. Red Cross will provide further assistance if needed.
If you have questions or need more information, please contact Cindi Shank, Disaster Program Manager for Red Cross of Wyoming, at (307) 689-0886, or

Information about the Hunter Peak Fire is available from InciWeb at 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Responding to Tornado Damage in Freedom Hills, Wyoming

A tornado touched down in Freedom Hills, Wyoming, east of Gillette, Sunday evening. Red Cross was called but was told that conditions were unsafe until this morning.  According to Red Cross damage assessment teams, 3 manufactured homes were destroyed displacing nine people. Thirteen other homes were damaged by the tornado. Our teams assisted nine people with basic immediate needs that included temporary lodging assistance. Our casework will continue as long as needed.

More information will be forthcoming. In the meantime you should download the free Red Cross app, Emergency. This app can provide important information before, during and after a disaster. To get the app go to your favorite app provider or download the app from