Red Cross Responds to Roxbury Fire

American Red Cross volunteers responded to a 5-alarm fire Feb. 12 in Roxbury section of Boston.

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A fire in a single-family home broke out around 10 a.m., and was soon flaming through the roof of the two-story home on Perrin Street in Roxbury.

A Disaster Action Team from Metro 1 responded and found the homeowners huddled in their car, staying warm as temperatures hovered in the low 20s.

DAT volunteers met with four of the nine family members at the scene, also coordinating care of the family’s cat through a local Boston animal non-profit agency.

DAT volunteers were able to provide the family with immediate financial assistance, as well as starting their case-work package and providing disaster mental health assistance. Red Cross case work managers will continue to help guide the family through the next few weeks as they look for new housing and begin to take the next steps in recovery.

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There were no fatalities in the fire, however one person was transferred to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO: The Red Cross asks everyone to take two simple steps to help prevent injury and death during a fire in their home – check their smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home. Every household should develop a fire escape plan and practice it several times a year and at different times of the day. The plan should include two ways to get out of every room and a place to meet outside. Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas or homes on the second floor or above.

People should also install smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. The alarms should be tested every month and the batteries replaced at least once a year.

The Red Cross and community partners around the country are participating in a campaign called the “Home Fire Preparedness Campaign.” If you, or someone you know doesn’t have smoke alarms installed in your home, Red Cross is working with local teams to install them free of charge. If you are in need of someone to install smoke alarms, please contact the American Red Cross to arrange for a free smoke alarm installation or battery check by going to redcross.org/ma or by calling 1-800-564-1234.

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In Massachusetts, a family is displaced by a disaster – most usually a home fire – on average every two hours. You can help people affected by disasters like home fires and countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org/MA, call

1-800-564-1234, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

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 assists Townsend Residents After Devastating Fire

The American Red Cross has assisted more than 40 people who were affected by a fire in Townsend, Mass., Feb. 4.

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Red Cross staff and volunteers helped coordinate a shelter the night of the fire, and coordinated and staffed a Recovery Resource Center for the families displaced by the fire.

The fire occurred at 48 Fitchburg Road, and destroyed all 24 units at the Pine Ridge Estates apartment complex. Red Cross volunteers responded to the request for assistance at 11 p.m. Feb. 4, and helped set up a shelter at the St. John’s Catholic Church in coordination with church staff and Townsend Emergency Management officials.

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The Recovery Resource Center was established to help residents make their next steps in the recovery process. Agencies attending the recovery center were – The Salvation Army, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross. The resource center provided a one-stop experience for residents displaced by the fire. Residents were able to talk directly with agencies offering assistance.

A Red Cross Follow-Up Recovery Team, along with Red Cross health and mental health volunteers, will continue working with clients as they navigate their recovery in the coming days and weeks.

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A Dozen Fires Over Weekend Keep Red Cross Volunteers Busy

MEDFORD, Mass., February 4, 2019 – American Red Cross disaster teams were busy across Massachusetts this weekend, responding to 12 fires which affected more than 40 people.

Since Feb. 1, Red Cross volunteers responded to 12 home fires across our region that displaced 18 families totaling 43 people. These fires displaced families in Revere, Boston, Quincy, North Adams, New Bedford, Sutton, Peabody, Springfield and multiple fires in Worcester and Fall River. Red Cross volunteers in Massachusetts are on call 24/7/365 to respond when the call goes out.

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Home fires are more likely to start in the kitchen than any other room in the home. The second leading cause of home fires is heating sources like wood stoves and fireplaces. Fires caused by smoking are the leading cause of deaths.

The American Red Cross provides the means for families to get immediate emergency support such as clothing, food and shelter in the first few days after a fire. Volunteer Client Caseworkers then work with the families to help them navigate the days and weeks following to recovery. The American Red Cross is a charitable organization, not a government agency. It depends on volunteers and the generosity of people like you to perform our mission.

WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO: The Red Cross asks everyone to take two simple steps to help prevent injury and death during a fire in their home – check their smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home. Every household should develop a fire escape plan and practice it several times a year and at different times of the day. The plan should include two ways to get out of every room and a place to meet outside. Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas or homes on the second floor or above.

People should also install smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. The alarms should be tested every month and the batteries replaced at least once a year.

The Red Cross and community partners around the country are participating in a campaign called the “Home Fire Preparedness Campaign.” If you, or someone you know doesn’t have smoke alarms installed in your home, Red Cross is working with local teams to install them free of charge. If you are in need of someone to install smoke alarms, please contact the American Red Cross to arrange for a free smoke alarm installation or battery check by going to redcross.org/ma or by calling 1-800-564-1234.

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In Massachusetts, a family is displaced by a disaster – most usually a home fire – on average every two hours. You can help people affected by disasters like home fires and countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org/MA, call

1-800-564-1234, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

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.

$75K American Tower Donation Helps Hurricane, Wildfire Victims

Torrential rain and flooding in the Carolinas the historic wildfires in the West required massive back-to-back responses by the American Red Cross last fall. With no rest for the weary, the holidays, winter and spring were all fraught with storms and tornadoes that took a toll on several states—including repeat flooding in parts of Texas that had been devastated the previous year.

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American Tower donated $75,000 to the Red Cross for disaster relief, helping provide more than 1.93 million meals and assisting 16,000 families with more than 270,000 relief items.

Local Red Cross workers, some flood victims too, and volunteers from across the country found themselves experiencing a sad sort of déjà vu as they opened and operated emergency shelters and distribution centers in Florida to provide meals, snacks, comfort and hygiene kits and clean-up supplies along with shoulders to lean (or cry) on.

Emma Cribbs, age 6 of Mexico Beach hits the Mother Load of Mickeys at a Red Cross Pod on California and 15th. Emma’s family suffered water damage and lost a vehicle during Michael.

Last year, volunteers helped communities from coast-to-coast cope with mass shootings, from Nevada to Florida, and too many places in-between. These are just a few of the nearly 66,000 disasters to which the Red Cross responds annually. Day or night, weekend or holiday, hurricane or home fire—being Red Cross ready means we respond whenever and wherever we’re needed.

“R.T. Pugh” of Mexico Beach describes how high the water came into his home. He rode out Michael at home, along with his 90 year old mother, his daughter and his two dogs. All are safe.

Couple Helps Community Thrive Through Donation

Finding ways to honor donor intent and wishes is always paramount for the American Red Cross. The work of the organization depends on our volunteer workforce and the generosity of donors to perform the missions of the Red Cross.

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To a local Cape Cod couple, the Red Cross mission of alleviating human suffering inspired a donation to ensure Cape Cod and Southeastern Massachusetts residents had assistance during times of need, be it disaster or medical.

Charles and Carol P donated the funds to purchase a new Bio-Medical vehicle to transport donated blood and blood products. They describe themselves as fortunate to not only have lived much of their lives on Cape Cod, but to be able to help organizations that support the local communities of their beloved home.

The Red Cross has been at home on Cape Cod for more than 100 years, celebrating the centennial in 2015. Today the Cape, Islands and Southeast Massachusetts chapter serves a population of more than 1,273,000 people in the 15 towns of Barnstable, Plymouth and Bristol Counties, and the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

Charles worked for years in the medical field on Cape Cod as a director of an extended care facility, insuring both patients and medical staff had the care and tools needed to build healthy communities. Carol worked assisting an architect, later designing homes herself on Cape Cod. As they raised their children, the importance of strong communities was a constant touchstone.

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The Bio-Medical mission of the Red Cross is perhaps the most well known throughout the organization’s more than 100-year history. Every day in Massachusetts, the need for blood and blood products is great. Area hospitals require, on average, more than 350 units of blood just to meet scheduled needs. When disasters strike, blood supplies are shifted throughout the country to ensure needs are met.

Charles’ and Carol’s donation of a Bio-Medical vehicle ensures donations are quickly delivered to the Dedham, Massachusetts processing center, then on to where they are needed most – local community hospitals and treatment centers here in the Commonwealth. The Red Cross collected more than 200,000 units of blood and platelets last year in Massachusetts, and vehicles like the one Charles and Carol donated make sure the life-saving blood products find their way to where they are needed most.

Charles’s past military service makes their support of the Red Cross that much more important. They are supporters of local Red Cross events which honor members of the Armed Services, both financially and by donating their time to the Red Cross and other organizations which support the men and women of our military.

The work of the Red Cross requires the generosity of donors like Carol and Charles. Through volunteerism and philanthropy, the Red Cross will continue to support people during their greatest time of need.

$50K National Grid Donation helps Merrimack Valley Residents

The unimaginable happened 41752310_2361512993865965_3126572304125919232_n.jpgin Massachusetts in September of 2018. Thousands of residents were ordered to evacuate their homes and businesses when a natural gas line was over pressurized causing fires, explosions and leaks. American Red Cross volunteers worked quickly with emergency managers and local government officials to open emergency evacuation centers in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover.

A donation by National Grid of $50,000 helped Red Cross volunteers bring immediate assistance to residents who would not be able to re-enter their homes for days.

The more than 80 fires September 13 sent waves of uneasiness through the local communities. The Red Cross was able to quickly identify the needs and open four evacuation centers in the impacted communities.

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Nearly 2,000 people spent nights in evacuation centers during the incident. Three hundred Red Cross volunteers staffed the four evacuation centers in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, serving more than 25,000 meals and distributing more than 1,500 comfort items.

The Red Cross would like to thank National Grid for their continued support of the Red Cross mission here in Massachusetts. Their generous donations of vehicles, financial support and volunteers help the Red Cross support the citizens of Massachusetts.

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With Snow Finally on the Way – Red Cross Offers 15 Ways to Stay Safe

Winter Storms – Red Cross Offers 15 Ways to Stay Safe When Winter Hits

With the first significant snow finally in the forecast, the American Red Cross wants New England residents to be ready.

Winter weather poses unique challenges to people faced with bitter cold, snow and ice. The Red Cross has steps you should take to stay safe if you are in the path of winter storms.

“A winter storm is headed to this region and we have safety tips everyone can follow to stay safe,” said Lloyd Ziel, communications director for the Red Cross in Massachusetts “Whether trying to keep your home warm or having to be outside in the cold, you can follow these steps to get through the storm.”

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HEAT YOUR HOME SAFELY

It’s that time of year when many people resort to space heaters and other sources to keep their homes warm. Home heating is the second leading cause of fires in this country. To reduce the risk of heating related fires, the Red Cross recommends these steps (More home fire safety information available here):

  1. Give the heat space – All heaters need space. Keep children, pets and things that can burn (paper, matches, bedding, furniture, clothing, carpets, and rugs) at least three feet away from heating equipment.
  2. Orient space heaters – If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs, carpets or near bedding or drapes. Plug power cords directly into outlets – never into an extension cord.
  3. Protect your home – Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended, and use a glass or metal fire screen to keep fire and embers in the fireplace. 
  4. Abstain from the range – Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
  5. Turn off portable space heaters every time you leave the room or go to sleep.
    STAY SAFE DURING WINTER WEATHER
  1. Beware the Cold – Wear layers of clothing, a hat, mittens and waterproof, insulated boots.
  2. Remember to Rest – Be careful when tackling strenuous tasks like shoveling snow in cold temperatures.
  3. Awareness – Check on your neighbors, especially elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.
  4. Dogs and Cats – 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.
  5. Yield to the Frost – Watch for hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia symptoms include confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Frostbite symptoms include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.

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WINTER TRAVEL SAFETY

Stay off the road if possible during severe weather. If you must drive in winter weather, follow these tips:

  1. Grip That Seat Belt – Make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road.
  2. Refrain from Tailgating –  Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.
  3. Oppose the Cruise –  Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.
  4. Never Crowd the Plow – Don’t pass snow plows.
  5. Know What Freezes – Ramps, bridges and overpasses freeze before roadways.

 

DOWNLOAD 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

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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.