Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Lightning Safety Information

By Bill Fortune

It is that time of year when outdoor activities conflict with hazardous weather. Working with the National Weather Service, we thought it would be helpful to provide some discussion about outdoor lightning risk reduction.

Being outdoors is the most dangerous place to be during a thunderstorm. Each year, nearly all people in the United States injured or killed by lightning were involved in an outdoor activity. They were struck while working outside, were at or participating at an outdoor sporting event, or were boating or fishing. Other examples include people struck while they were hiking, mowing the lawn or simply going to or from their car. Quite a few were on their own property when they were struck.


Unfortunately, there is no place outside that is safe from lightning. 

The only safe place to be when lightning is occurring is either inside a substantial building, or an enclosed automobile. Here are some important things to remember before venturing outdoors:

  • An informed decision will help you avoid being in an area where lightning is expected to occur. Before heading out, get an updated forecast. 
  • Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, check National Weather Service web sites, go to your favorite broadcast or print media, or access your favorite weather apps on your cell phone for the latest forecast. 
  • In Wyoming, it is important to remember that thunderstorms typically develop in the mountains after 11 am. So it is best to plan your climbing or hiking trip so that you are coming down the mountain by late morning. If thunderstorms are in the forecast, consider planning an alternate indoor activity or, if you still plan to be outside, make a plan which will allow you to quickly get to a safe shelter if a storm should develop. 
  • Once you are outside, keep up-to-date on the weather via your smart phone or portable NOAA weather radio receiver. Check for updated forecasts. Check if storms are near you by checking the latest radar imagery on your cell phone. There are now several smart phone apps you can purchase that show you real-time lightning activity in your area. 
  • Do not forget to simply look around you to make sure storms are not developing in your vicinity. 


Two outdoor lightning scenarios


  • Outside and shelter is nearby. If you are outside, such as a park, a lake, or an outdoor sporting event, know where the nearest safe location can be accessed.. A safe location is any substantial building (A substantial building is a structure which is fully enclosed and has electrical wiring and plumbing). Examples of substantial buildings include a business, a home, or a church. In addition, any enclosed hard-topped car or truck also offers excellent protection from a lightning strike. 
    • Once you hear thunder or see lightning, immediately stop what you are doing and quickly get to the safe shelter. Do not wait until the rain starts to seek safe shelter. 
    • Once inside a safe shelter, it is recommended you stay there for 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder. Past history has shown that most people who were outdoors and were injured or killed by lightning had access to a nearby safe shelter. 
    • Do not wait to seek safe shelter when lightning threatens. 
    • When you hear thunder or see lightning, it is important for you, and your family, to act quickly. 
    • It is critically important to avoid shelters that are not safe from lightning, such as picnic shelters, bullpens, any type of tent, or any other small buildings that are open to the elements. 
    • NEVER...NEVER...get under a tree when a thunderstorm is nearby or overhead. 
    • It is important that all sports leagues and other outdoor groups have a lightning response plan that is understood and consistently applied for the safety of the participants. Part of the plan would include a designated weather watcher at each outdoor event with the authority to postpone or cancel the event due to the threat of lightning. It is also important that people know where to seek safe shelter if a storm should threaten. 
  • If no safe shelter is nearby. This situation typically occurs to people who are hiking or camping in the back country. Unfortunately, in this scenario, there is not much you can do to reduce your risk from being struck by lightning. 

    • The best thing to do is move away from tall isolated objects, such as trees. 
    • Stay away from wide open areas. 
    • Stay as low as possible with your feet close together if lightning is nearby. 
    • If you are with a group of people, spread out, that way if someone is struck by lightning, the others can offer first aid. 
    • If camping in the back country, place your tent in a low area away from tall isolated trees. 
Much of the material and the graphics for this article were provided by the National Weather Service. For more information about lightning safety visit www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov. For information about preparing for emergencies visit www.redcross.org. For detailed weather information anytime visit www.weather.gov.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Red Cross Helps 158 People after Disasters

American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming, June 8, 2017 — The American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming responds to calls for assistance, on average, twice to three times a day across the two-state region. Of the 158 people helped, more than 60 were age 60 or older.

Breakdown of the CO & WY 87 county service area:
Mile High Chapter (MHC): 53 individuals received aid; 25 were children under 18 years old and one person was age 60 or older. The MHC response area includes 10 counties in the Denver Metro area.

Southeastern Colorado Chapter (SECO): 33 individuals received aid; ten were under 18 years old with two being over 60 years of age. The SECO response area includes 16 counties.

Northern Colorado Chapter (NOCO): 18 individuals received aid; ten were under 18 years old and one over age 60. The NOCO response area includes 11 counties.

Western Colorado Chapter (WCO): 38 individuals received aid; 15 were under 18 years old and two were over age 60. The WCO response area covers 27 counties, serving all of western Colorado and the San Luis Valley.

Wyoming Chapter (WYO): 16 individuals received aid; six children and one person over 60 years of age were among those assisted. The Wyoming Chapter response area covers all 23 counties that make up the state of Wyoming.


The families and individuals were provided a place to stay, money for clothes, food and medicine. Along with providing casework for the residents in a quick and efficient time frame, Red Cross volunteers will continue to provide support to these families going forward, by doing follow up work to ensure all needs are met and the individuals have a clear path to recovery from this personal disaster. 

For the latest news about the Red Cross response across the country visit our national website at redcross.org

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Better Together; Partnerships Prepare Communities


The Wind River Indian Reservation has seen disaster numerous times with past flooding, and this year will be no exception. When the Red Cross responds to flooded homes it's not just another house, but community members who have immediate needs.

"It's a great feeling when you can come alongside and offer assistance. It's an even better feeling when we have can join forces with partners to prepare a community in advance; to try and prevent loss of life and property," said Kaleigh Good, Disaster Program Manager for Red Cross of Wyoming.

Red Cross is proud to have been invited by the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes into a partnership for pre-flood mitigation. The partnership extends well beyond this pre-flood mitigation, as Red Cross frequently collaborates with Northern Arapaho Emergency Manager Harvey Spoonhunter and Eastern Shoshone Emergency Manager Vernon Hill. Together, Red Cross, Team Rubicon Region VIII, and Tribal Emergency Management officials are advocates for emergency preparedness and positioning the community for a stronger, more resilient place to call home.

On day one of the mitigation project, Team Rubicon Region VIII Members gathered around for a morning briefing. "We are here to help protect life and property today; to hopefully keep some families from having to worry about the flooding that may occur," said the Team Leader. Team Rubicon Volunteers were thankful to the Red Cross for providing the support that allowed them to be part of the efforts and will spend the next few days filling sandbags in efforts to prepare the community in advance of the snow melt.

Many members of the community began stacking sandbags several weeks ago as they prepared for severe flooding; the current snow water equivalent is more than 300% the normal range in the Wind River Basin.

"This is my first mitigation. It's hard to come in and see the aftermath so this is nice to be here to hopefully help prevent some of that loss, " said Ashley Crandall, Team Rubicon volunteer who came in from Texas to help support the community. Many of the volunteers from Team Rubicon have traveled a great distance to be here helping this community, whose families see and experience some level of flooding every year. Take, for example,  Crawford, who has lived on the Wind River Reservation his entire life. He and his family, which consists of more than 100 brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, and uncles are all part of this tight knit community on the reservation. "We are a lot more prepared now than we were in 2010," he said as he shared with us his experience of past flooding in the community and what they are doing to prepare for what they know is on the way. "It's great to see all the people who are coming together to help each other and to help their neighbors get ahead of it this year," he said.

"We thought it was done snowing...but then we got more. That means more water in the rivers when it starts to melt and it all flows right down here," Crawford said.

Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. The Red Cross provides several tools such as a free Emergency App which can be set to alert you to potential threats like flash flooding. You can learn more by clicking HERE, or from your mobile phone, Text GETEMERGENCY to 90999.

Learn more about flood safety and preparedness, as well as what to do before, during, and after a flood event, or how YOU can help those who are affected by flooding this year at redcross.org.

Photos By: Red Cross Volunteer, Nigel F. Holderby

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.

Safety Tips for Memorial Day Weekend

By Nigel Holderby

American Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming: May 25, 2017 — Many folks will spend the upcoming Memorial Day weekend taking a road trip, having their first picnic of the season or enjoying that first dip in the lake or pool. Follow these American Red Cross tips to stay safe and relish all the long holiday weekend has to offer. 

DRIVING SAFETY 

  • Be well rested and alert, use your seat belts, observe speed limits and follow the rules of the road. 
  • If you plan on drinking alcohol, designate a driver who won’t drink. 
  • Give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones. 
  • Use caution in work zones. There are lots of construction projects underway on the highways. 
  • Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. 
  • Make frequent stops. 
  • Clean your vehicle’s lights and windows to help you see, especially at night. Turn your headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather. Don’t overdrive your headlights. 
  • Don’t let your vehicle’s gas tank get too low. If you have car trouble, pull as far as possible off the highway.
  • Carry a Disaster Supplies Kit in your trunk. 
  • Let someone know where you are going, your route and when you expect to get there. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route. 

GRILLING SAFETY 
  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. 
  • Never grill indoors – not in your house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area. 
  • Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.  
  • Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire. 
  • Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe. 
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited. 
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills. 

WATER SAFETY  
The following tips are layers of protection that will help people stay safe in, on and around the water: 

video
  • Do your part, be water smart! Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. 
  • Adults: actively supervise children; stay within arm’s reach of young children and newer swimmers. And kids: follow the rules. 
  • Don’t fool with a pool: fence it in. Enclose your pool and spa with four-sided, four-foot fencing and use self-closing, self-latching gates. 
  • Don’t just pack it; wear your U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket – always when on a boat and if in a situation beyond your skill level. Inflatable children’s toys and water wings can be fun, but they are no substitute for a life jacket and adult supervision. 
  • Swim as a pair near a lifeguard’s chair - everyone, including experienced swimmers, should swim with a buddy in areas protected by lifeguards. 
  • Reach or throw, don't go! Know what to do to help someone in trouble, without endangering yourself; know how and when to call 9-1-1; and know CPR. DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross app “Emergency” can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hand for more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts. The Red Cross Swim App promotes water safety education and helps parents and caregivers of young people learning how to swim. The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies at your fingertips. Download these apps by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Red Cross Helps 133 People After Disasters in 2017

American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming, May 3, 2017 — The American Red Cross of
Red Cross responder in front of apartment fire.
Photo:American Red Cross
Colorado & Wyoming responded to calls for assistance, on average, twice to three times a day to disasters of all types. From flooding and house fires, to several homes collapsing from being hit by a vehicle. Of the 133 people helped by Red Cross, at least 40 were children under the age of 18 including several infants. Nearly 20 of those assisted were age 60 or older.  

“Not only are we providing this daily assistance in response to disasters, we also had a lot of people get trained in live saving skills,” said Gino Greco, Regional CEO for Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming. In the Denver Mile High Chapter office alone, there were more than 70 training classes held during the month of April.

Breakdown of the CO & WY 87 county service area:
Mile High Chapter (MHC): 33 individuals received aid; Eight were under 18 years old. The MHC response area includes 10 counties in the Denver Metro area.

Southeastern Colorado Chapter (SoCO): 22 individuals received aid; Nine were under 18 years old. The SoCO response area includes 16 counties.

Northern Colorado Chapter (NoCO): 27 individuals received aid; Seven were under 18 years old and six were age 60 or older. The NoCO response area includes 11 counties.

Western Colorado Chapter (WeCO): 35 individuals received aid. 11 of those helped were under 18 years old. The WeCo response area covers 27 counties, serving all western Colorado and the San Luis Valley.

Wyoming Chapter: 16 individuals received aid; Five were under age 18. The Wyoming Chapter response area covers all 23 counties that make up the state of Wyoming.


The families and individuals were provided a place to stay, money for clothes, food and medicine. Along with providing casework for the residents in a quick and efficient time frame, Red Cross volunteers will continue to provide support to these families going forward, by doing follow up work to ensure all needs are met and the individuals have a clear path to recovery from this personal disaster. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Disaster Workers Deploying to Missouri


Workers will bring help and hope to those recovering from devastating floods

The American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming is sending disaster staff and volunteers to Missouri to help with the flood recovery efforts.

Darcie Wisehart will deploy to serve on the Disaster Mental Health team. Her role is to work with the people affected and the deployed Red Cross volunteers to support their emotional needs. Wiseheart is a volunteer with the Red Cross Wyoming chapter and lives in Greybull, WY. This will be her third deployment in less than 12 months.

Patricia Cook is a Red Cross nurse and will deploy to Missouri to help those affected and Red Cross volunteers deployed to the region with their health and wellness needs. Cook is a volunteer with the Red Cross of Western Colorado and lives in Montrose, CO. This will be her second deployment.

The Red Cross responds to 66,000 disasters each year. The best way to help people affected by disasters, both big and small, is to donate to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. People can donate to our Disaster Relief Fund at 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or www.redcross.org, or simply text the word redcross to 90999 to donate $10 through your mobile carrier. Charges will apply to your mobile phone bill the following month.

To see the latest news about how you can help the Red Cross help the hundreds of people that have lost everything due the recent tornadoes and floods go to:

http://www.redcross.org/news/article/Severe-Weather-Impacts-Multiple-States-Red-Cross-Responds

Monday, May 1, 2017

Red Cross Mile High Youth Advisory Board Seeking Applicants - Deadline May 31, 2017

2016-2017 Mile High Youth Advisory Board
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Everybody can be great because everybody can serve." The great thing about this statement is it doesn't say "if you're old enough" or "if you're young enough"...it says EVERYBODY. 

Here in the Mile High area we are calling all students with a passion for community service, taking initiative in their leadership positions, and enthusiasm for working with others to produce a positive means of changing their community.

The American Red Cross Mile High Youth Advisory Board is looking for rising freshmen and sophomores. As a part of the American Red Cross, accepted applicants will be a part of one of the largest humanitarian organizations in the world at the highest level in Colorado AND Wyoming. 

Accepted applicants will oversee Red Cross youth activities across the Colorado-Wyoming region, working closely with regional headquarters in Denver. Students will have opportunities to gain professional development, leadership, project planning and facilitation skills. Accepted applicants will be able to work with a wide range of Red Cross personnel, planning activities for fellow youth volunteers, and leading in non-profit setting. Thinking of college? Seeing the American Red Cross name on any application will greatly boost one's chances of being accepted and receiving scholarships!

Accepted applicants must commit to monthly meetings at Mile High Area Regional Headquarters in Denver (444 Sherman St, Denver, CO 80203), be it by virtual or in-person means. Prospective applicants must also commit to continuous correspondence with other board members through group messaging, conference calls, and/or email between meetings. 

Interested?
  1. Visit www.redcross.org/volunteer and complete the online orientation.
  2. Register on Volunteer Connection here. Scroll down and click "Youth Application". Follow this process. 
  3. Start your application in the meantime and submit before the deadline, regardless of whether you are done registering.
More information on the Mile High Youth Advisory Board can be found here, and take a look at www.redcross.org to learn more about the organization, its values, and lines of service.

The application can be accessed at: MHC Youth Application

Applications are due on May 31st, 2017, 11:59 MST - Please email Ashley Turner prior to the deadline for additional information regarding the submission process. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Red Cross Needs YOU!

The American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming is seeking volunteers for a variety of volunteer positions across the two states. The week of April 23-29 is National Volunteer Week and we want to give you the opportunity to turn your caring and compassion into volunteer action with the Red Cross.
Red Cross volunteer hands out needed emergency
items. Photo American Red Cross

In 2016 the Red Cross responded in Colorado and Wyoming  to home fires, apartment fires, hail storms, tornadoes, floods and wildfires. In each case residents needed to be sheltered, cared for and supported through recovery. Nearly all of that work was done by trained local volunteers who gave their time, energy and compassion to be the bright spot in an otherwise dark moment.  Many of our volunteers deployed to other states to help with large scale disasters.

It's that time of year...again!
As the spring flood and severe weather season approaches the Red Cross prepares to respond to help people affected by disasters. That preparation includes recruitment and training of new volunteers, preparing the community and maintaining equipment and supplies.
  
“Our volunteers are truly dedicated to providing support for people affected by disasters,” said Gino Greco, CEO  for the Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming. “We owe them our thanks and gratitude.” Greco also said that the organization needs more volunteers, especially in the small towns and more remote areas of the territory.


Working one-on-one with those in need.
Photo: Arnett Luce/American Red Cross
We need you, NOW!
Red Cross volunteer opportunities abound and range from being a disaster volunteer to a community leader and spokesperson. Our volunteers work be hind the scenes and directly with people in need. They work from home or from the scene of a disaster.

While experience and skill sets are useful, the Red Cross will provide the training needed at no cost.




How Can You Volunteer?
 To learn more about Red Cross volunteer opportunities check out our web page at www.redcross.org/wyoming. Click on the VOLUNTEER tab on the left and get started as a Red Cross volunteer.


Hear what one volunteer has to say about his "Red Cross Moment".

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Red Cross Helps 220 People after Home Fires During March 2017

American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming, April 3, 2017 — The American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming responded to calls for assistance, on average, twice to three times a day during the month of March. Of the 220 people helped, at least 80 were children under the age of 18 including several infants. More than 20 of those assisted were age 60 or older.

Volunteers help a man displaced by strong winds. Photo by
Arnett Luce/American Red Cross
“Not only did we help a lot of people when they had a personal disaster, we also opened multiple
shelters across the two-state region because of wild fires, flooding, and blizzard conditions that affected travel. Our volunteers have been extremely busy and we could not provide this level of support to the community without them and the generosity of our donors,” said Gino Greco, Regional CEO for Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming.

Breakdown of the CO & WY 87 county service area:

Mile High Chapter (MHC): 105 individuals received aid; 38 were under 18 years old. Eight people were age 60 or older. The MHC response area includes 10 counties in the Denver Metro area.

Southeastern Colorado Chapter (SECO): 29 individuals received aid; five were under 18 years old. The SECO response area includes 16 counties.

Northern Colorado Chapter (NOCO): 38 individuals received aid; 16 were under 18 years old and three were age 60 or older. The NOCO response area includes 11 counties.

Western Colorado Chapter (WCO): 20 individuals received aid. Eight of those helped were under 18 and four were over 60 years old. The WCO response area covers 27 counties, serving all of western Colorado and the San Luis Valley.

Wyoming Chapter (WYO): 28 individuals received aid; 13 were under age 18. The Wyoming Chapter response area covers all 23 counties that make up the state of Wyoming.

The families and individuals were provided a place to stay, money for clothes, food and medicine. Along with providing casework for the residents in a quick and efficient time frame, Red Cross volunteers will continue to provide support to these families going forward, by doing follow up work to ensure all needs are met and the individuals have a clear path to recovery from this personal disaster.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Turn and Test - When you set your clocks, test your smoke alarm

a.m. so turn the clocks ahead one hour. The American Red Cross reminds everyone it’s also a good time to TEST the batteries in their smoke alarms as they TURN their clocks ahead an hour.
“When you turn your clocks ahead this weekend, it’s a great time to also test your smoke alarms,” said Gino Greco, CEO for the Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming.  He added “Take a few minutes to replace your smoke alarm batteries and push the test button to make sure the alarms are working.”
Video Testimonial - Don't Forget to Yell FIRE!
It’s also a good time for everyone to take these steps to make sure their household is prepared 
for emergencies.
  • Install smoke alarms. If someone doesn't have smoke alarms, they should install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Check local building codes for additional requirements.
  • Practice an escape plan. Make sure everyone in the household knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.
  • Get a kit. Keep disaster supplies in an easy-to-carry bag to use at home or carry in case ordered to evacuate.
  • Make a plan. Have all household members plan what steps they should take if an emergency occurs.
  • Be informed. Learn what emergencies can occur in the area and how officials notify residents should a disaster occur.
Red Cross Smoke Alarm Installation
Home Fire Campaign The Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, launched in October 2014, is a multi-year nationwide initiative to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent. As of January 31, 2017, the Red Cross and its partners have helped to save at least 159 lives and installed more than 702,000 smoke alarms in 9,100 cities and towns nationwide.
Working with more than 4,000 partners, the campaign has reached more than 806,000 people and made nearly 294,000 households safer, replacing more than 41,000 smoke alarm batteries and helping create more than 248,000 home fire escape plans. Through programs like The Pillowcase Project,  the campaign has also helped teach more than 707,000 young people about home fire preparedness and safety.
People can visit redcross.org to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire and other emergencies. Visit www.redcross.org/Wyoming to find out about smoke alarm installation events here in Utah.
 The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to fulfill its crucial mission. If someone would like to help, please consider making a donation today by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 gift. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Red Cross Shelter in Basin, WY

2/23/17 UPDATE:  Red Cross of Wyoming has closed their shelter in Basin. Those needing shelter were assisted with temporary lodging and immediate needs. 

If others have been affected by the flooding and need assistance, they should call the Wyoming Red Cross 24-hour Disaster Response Line: (307) 222-8272.
If you have questions please contact Senior Disaster Program Manager Cindi Shank at (307) 689-0886; cindi.shank@redcross.org.


2/22/17:Red Cross of Wyoming is opening a shelter in Basin to assist people displaced by the current ice jam flooding. 
The shelter is at the Big Horn Fairgrounds in Basin: 315 Holdrege Ave, Basin, WY 82410 

Those displaced will be able to get shelter, snacks, water and information about available assistance. 

More information will be provided as it becomes available. If you have questions please contact Senior Disaster Program Manager Cindi Shank at (307) 689-0886; cindi.shank@redcross.org.
The Red Cross suggests those who plan to stay in a Red Cross evacuation shelter bring the following items for each member of their family: 
prescription and emergency medication 
medical equipment such as a wheelchair/walker, oxygen, etc.
extra clothing 
pillows, blankets and sleeping bags
hygiene supplies
flashlight with extra batteries
small board games, books for entertainment 
Additionally, special items for children and infants, such as diapers, formulas and toys, should be brought, along with other items for family members who are elderly or disabled. You may not bring illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, or weapons into the shelter. Please remember, this is an evacuation shelter and while food and drinks will be provided, other amenities may not be available. By following the above list, you can help make your stay more pleasant.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Wyoming Flood Response

Cheyenne, WY, Friday, February 17, 2017,
UPDATE - Noon
The Red Cross continues to support people affected by the ice jam flooding on the Big Horn River in Wyoming. Teams and supplies have moved to Basin,WY as the try to move with the ice jam so they can respond quickly.

Students from Ms. Bennett's Home Economics class at Worland Middle School made casseroles for Red Cross personnel and one of the local churches providing meals for displaced individuals. The Red Cross disaster workers appreciated the food and were happy to see community support from the 6th graders. Cori Tanner, one of the disaster workers in Worland is from Colorado and appreciated the support. "Our disaster workers are away from home so this meal really makes them feel like they are part of the community in Worland." Tanner said.
Ms Bennet's Home Economics class with Red Cross disaster workers in
Worland, WY. Photo by Cori Tanner/American Red Cross.
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cheyenne, WY, Wednesday, February 15, 2017:
UPDATE - 8 AM
The Red Cross has closed the shelter in Worland that was opened to support those people evacuated from their homes due to flooding.

Red Cross volunteers remain in Worland, completing damage assessment and providing residents with assistance and information about the resources available to them to help them clean up and recover. Red Cross will remain on the scene until there is no longer a threat to local residents.
Red Cross is also working with officials in Big Horn County to prepare for the ice jam to move north and possibly affect the towns of Manderson and Greybull.

If you have questions, please contact Senior Disaster Program Manager Cindi Shank at (307) 689-0886; cindi.shank@redcross.org.
____________________________________________________________________________
Cheyenne, WY, Tuesday, February 14, 2017:
UPDATE - 10 AM
The Red Cross continues to respond to the threat of flooding in Wyoming.

More than 100 homes were evacuated last weekend as the Big Horn River breached its banks due to the ice jam. The river has receded and water is flowing downstream. Concerns are now shifting to those towns downstream that may be affected.

The Red Cross shelter in Worland remains open and more than a dozen Red Cross disaster workers are in the area providing damage assessments and providing relief supplies.

Updated flood information is available at http://wyohomelandsecurity.state.wy.us/

If anyone needs assistance due to the flooding, they should call the Red Cross of Wyoming 24-hour disaster response line: (307) 222-8272.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cheyenne, WY, Monday, February 13, 2017 UPDATE- 10 AM
The Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming is expanding the disaster workforce in support of the flooding in Wyoming. Fourteen people have been assigned to help support.

Seven of those assigned are from Wyoming and seven are  from Colorado.  Each disaster worker has been assigned to a specialty:
Logistics - 1
Sheltering - 4
Operations Coordination - 5
Client Casework - 3
Staff Services - 1

Each person will operate primarily in their specialty but will also provide support in other specialties as needed.

A shelter remains open in Worland, at the Worland Community Center. Additional damage assessment will be conducted today to determine the need for additional resources. While five people stayed at the Worland shelter Friday night and Saturday night, the population for Sunday night was zero.

_____________________________________________________________________________



Cheyenne, WY, Sunday, February 12, 2017 - morning update:


Red Cross of Wyoming is continuing to assist those affected by ice jam flooding in Worland and Hudson.
In Worland, where 102 homes have been evacuated, Red Cross has opened a center to provide snacks, water and information. The center is at the Worland Community Center, 1200 Culbertson, in Worland. In Hudson, Disaster Assessment is being conducted on approximately 50 homes affected by the flooding.
Warmer temperatures for the next few days could mean more flooding. Red Cross will continue to be on scene and assist where needed.

Cheyenne, WY, Saturday, February 11, 2017, Noon update.

Red Cross of Wyoming has opened a shelter in Worland, WY to assist those people affected by the ice jam flooding occurring now. 

The shelter is at the Worland Community Center, 1200 Culbertson in Worland. Those affected can receive food, shelter and information.

If you have questions, please contact Senior Disaster Program Manager Cindi Shank at (307) 689-

Ice has jammed the Big Horn River as it goes through the town of Worland. Flooding is occurring behind the jam due to the river backing up at the jam site. EM is anticipating evacuation of about 75 homes.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Teton Village Power Outage Response


Updated February 15, 2017. Power has been returned to the Teton Village area and roads are open. The Red Cross closed the warming center on Tuesday, February 14, 2017.
__________________________________
Updated February 10, 2017, 10:00 a.m.

The American Red Cross has opened a warming center at Jackson Fairgrounds, 305 W Snow King Ave, Jackson, WY 83001. This warming center is in place to support residents and tourists in the Teton Village Area who lost power due to avalanche activity that occurred on Tuesday, February 7, 2017.

 People affected by the power outage can go to the Jackson Fairgrounds to have a warm, safe place to stay with food and beverages. They can also get updated information concerning the power outage. Information about the restoration of power in the Teton Village area is available on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LowerValleyEnergy.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Sending More Disaster Workers to Southeaster U.S.

Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles deliver meals to
people recovering from tornado damage.
Photo:American Red  Cross
The American Red Cross of Colorado & Wyoming is sending additional disaster workers to support the response to the devastating tornado damage in the southeast U.S.  Typical deployments are 14 to 21 days depending on the needs of those affected by the disaster.

Sylvia Raumaker, from the Wyoming Chapter and Ron Hedrick from the Northern Colorado Chapter departed Sunday and will serve as a sheltering supervisors in southern Mississippi. As such, they will be responsible for the care and support of the twenty-one people who are still living in a Red Cross shelter following the devastating tornadoes that hit the area January 21, 2017.

These two will bring the total number of Colorado and Wyoming volunteer deployments to the southeast tornado and flood response to seven.

Volunteers give help and hope to those affected by the
tornadoes. Photo:American Red Cross
Following the tornado outbreak, Red Cross disaster workers were on the ground immediately providing support for those affected and those responding. More than 1,100 homes were affected by the tornadoes and floods in Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.  Most current estimates suggest that the Red Cross will spend more than $1 million helping the people affected by the storms.

If you want to see the latest information about the Red Cross response to the damage caused by the southeast U.S. tornadoes, visit our web site at www.redcross.org.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Saving Lives with Smoke Alarms - MLK Jr. Day of Service 2017

Colorado and Wyoming volunteers along with a host of partners stepped up to provide a day of service in support of the 2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and installed over 400 smoke alarms.

To quote from Martin Luther King, Jr., “Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'.” The American Red Cross and the thousands of Red Cross volunteers answer that questions every day. Whether it is helping a family recover from a home fire or helping hundreds of people affected by floods, wildfires or tornadoes, we have put our open hearts and open arms to those in need.

As a demonstration of our compassion, the Red Cross implemented a national campaign designed to reduce by 25 percent the number of deaths and injuries caused by home fires. The campaign began in the fall of 2014 and through the end of 2016 more than 500,000 smoke alarms have been installed across the country. Those installations, and the education that has gone with them, can be attributed with saving more than 130 lives.

The 2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service found the Red Cross deeply committed to saving lives through the Home Fire Campaign. Across Colorado and Wyoming teams of volunteers partnered with local fire departments, local organizations and individuals.

During the period of January 14 through January 21 the Red Cross and partners installed over 400 smoke alarms bringing the total number of smoke alarms installed in Colorado and Wyoming since October 2014 to nearly 10,000 with more than 5,000 homes made safer through the education portion of the campaign.


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  • Saturday, January 14 Red Cross volunteers and the Arvada Fire Department joined with dozens of other volunteers to install 160 smoke alarms in Arvada.
  • Monday, January 16 the Red Cross volunteers in Wyoming joined with local fire departments to install 70 smoke alarms at the Wind River Indian Reservation.
  • Saturday, January 21 found Red Cross volunteers in Pueblo where they visited more than 100 homes and installed 175 smoke alarms.
  • Saturday, January 21, Red Cross volunteers in Fort Collins visited 43 homes and installed 15 smoke detectors.

We want to give a huge shout out to all of our partners including local fire departments, churches and other organizations, as well as hundreds of individuals who also volunteered.

If you would like to be part of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign in Colorado and/or Wyoming visit our website, www.redcross.org/colorado/firesafety or www.redcross.org/wyoming/firesafety.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Red Cross Issues Winter Weather Driving Safety Tips

By Nigel Holderby


Driving in a winter storm presents its own unique challenges. The Red Cross has steps people can follow to get their vehicle ready for winter as well as what they should do if they are caught in a winter storm.

“Check your vehicle and stock it with some emergency supplies,” said Mike Masto, Red Cross Regional Disaster Officer, “The best thing you can do is stay off the roads during a winter storm.”

GET YOUR VEHICLE READY FOR WINTER: Plan ahead. Have a mechanic check your tires, battery, brakes and antifreeze levels. Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter with a window scraper, shovel, kitty litter or sand in case you get stuck, extra clothes and a Disaster Supplies Kit in your trunk. Pack high-protein snacks, water, first aid kit, flashlight, small battery-operated radio, an emergency contact card with names and phone numbers, extra prescription medications, blankets and important documents or information you may need.

DRIVING IN WINTER While the Red Cross encourages you to stay off the road if possible, if you have to drive in snow or freezing rain, follow these tips about how to drive safely during a winter storm and what to do if you become stuck in your vehicle:
  • Fill the vehicle’s gas tank and clean the lights and windows to help you see.
  • Pay attention to the weather forecast. Before you leave, let someone know where you are going, the route you plan to take, and when you expect to get there. If your car gets stuck, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
  • If you have to drive, make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
  • Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.
  • Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.
  • Don’t pass snow plows.
  • Know that ramps, bridges and overpasses will freeze before roadways.
 
If you become stuck in the snow or icy conditions:
  • Stay with the car. Do not try to walk to safety.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) to the antenna for rescuers to see.
  • Don’t run your engine and heater constantly to help avoid running out of gas. Don’t use things like lights or the radio without the engine running so the battery doesn’t conk out.
  • If you can, move your vehicle off the roadway. Stay with it – don’t abandon it. If you have to get out of your vehicle, use the side away from traffic.
  • 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.

WEATHER ALERTS AND FIRST AID TIPS People can download the Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to winter storm tips and 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. 

For more information about winter driving in Wyoming and to sign up for real-time updates about road conditions in your area, visit http://www.wyoroad.info/