Red Cross to close emergency shelter operations at Harlem Community Center

January 31, 2008

The Red Cross will end its disaster relief operations at Harlem Community Center, located at 900 Roosevelt Road, in Machesney Park.

“The Red Cross feels comfortable in assessing the situation and feels that it has reached out to all those that were impacted by this terrible incident in Machesney Park,” said Rock River Chapter Executive Director Dr. Robert Willis.

Families seeking information on Red Cross flood assistance may still contact the Red Cross at 815-963-8471 to set up a meeting with a caseworker.

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Encourage Your Member of Congress to Cosponsor H. Res. 937

January 30, 2008

As we all know, the Service to the Armed Forces emergency communications program provides a valuable link between our solders and their families back home. With the increasing number of service members deployed overseas it is more important than ever to highlight the selfless work that Red Crossers worldwide do to support or troops.

Congressman Michael Burgess (R-TX) recently introduced a resolution (H.Res. 937) that recognizes the emergency communications program as a vital resource for military members and their families. In fact, he personally depended on this service to get word to his son that his grandfather passed away.

Contact your Representative today and encourage them to cosponsor this resolution. Their support will help us continue raising awareness of this important service to our military.

Take action today!


Update: Cedric on Fox 39 Friday Night

January 26, 2008

Click here to watch our very own Cedric Johnson talk about what’s been going on at the Red Cross – Rock River Chapter!


Rock River Chapter Moves Shelter as Flooding Affects New Area

January 25, 2008

Due to continued flooding of the Rock River, and at the request of Winnebago County Emergency officials, the Rock River Chapter of the American Red Cross has transitioned their emergency shelter to the Harlem Community Center at 900 Roosevelt Road in Machesney Park, Illinois. This facility is centrally located and is better equipped for longer term use. Should you need immediate assistance – food, shelter and clothing – please go to the Harlem Community Center or call the Rock River Chapter at: (815) 963-8471.

Area flooding has prompted emergency response volunteers to relocate operations to the newly affected area in order to provide support and services to local residents. The Red Cross will provide immediate needs such as shelter, food and clothing. As of last night over 400 meals were provided to emergency responders and volunteers.


American Red Cross Remains at Riverside Community Church – Offering Services to Those Affected by Flooding

January 24, 2008

The Rock River Chapter of the American Red Cross is still operating an emergency service center at Riverside Community Church in Machesney Park. The Chapter will be closing the shelter which was setup at the same location. Last night approximately 80 meals were served to volunteers, affected residents and other emergency responders.

Following assessment of the damage to area homes, the Rock River Chapter will provide casework and agency referrals as needed.


Rock River Chapter Encourages Flood Preparedness

January 23, 2008

In the wake of weather reports concerning excessive snowfall, flooding concerns have arose in the northern areas of the Rock River Valley. With potentially more snow and rain projected for the upcoming weekend, and the Rock River noticeably on the rise in certain areas, it is important to have a disaster plan in place:

Know What to Expect

  • Know your area’s flood risk–if unsure, call the Rock River Chapter, emergency management office, or planning and zoning department.
  • If it has been raining hard for several hours, or steadily raining for several days, be alert to the possibility of a flood.
  • Listen to local radio or TV stations for flood information.

Reduce Potential Flood Damage By-

  • Raising your furnace, water heater, and electric panel if they are in areas of your home that may be flooded.
  • Consult with a professional for further information if this and other damage reduction measures can be taken.

Floods Can Take Several Hours to Days to Develop

  • A flood WATCH means a flood is possible in your area.
  • A flood WARNING means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.

Flash Floods Can Take Only a Few Minutes to a Few Hours to Develop

  • A flash flood WATCH means flash flooding is possible in your area.
  • A flash flood WARNING means a flash flood is occurring or will occur very soon.

Red Cross gets right things to right people in disasters

January 22, 2008

The American Red Cross is at its best when times are at their worst. As an immediate response agency, the Red Cross assembles a group of dedicated volunteers to support emergency relief efforts in the event of disaster.

The tornado that touched down in the Poplar Grove area called upon our greater sense of duty to help our neighbors in need. The Rock River Chapter, in conjunction with Boone County emergency officials, was on the scene to provide much-needed help.

Below you will find frequently asked questions regarding what the American Red Cross provides in times of disaster.

What does the American Red Cross actually do in disasters?

The most common disaster relief activities are providing shelter, food and first aid to those seeking refuge from a hurricane or flood or in the wake of a tornado, earthquake or hazardous materials incident.

Does the American Red Cross give assistance to individuals and families affected by disasters?

Yes, the core of Red Cross disaster relief activities is assistance given to individuals and families affected by disasters. This is where the majority of your financial contributions go.

How does the Red Cross help disaster victims get on the road to recovery?

The Red Cross provides disaster victims with the means to pay for what they need most, from groceries, new clothing and rent to emergency home repairs, transportation, household items, medicines and tools. Based on need, victims receive an outright grant to purchase items from the merchants of their choice, who have usually also been adversely affected by the disaster. The Red Cross also helps those needing long-term recovery assistance when other resources are not available or are inadequate.

How can you help after a disaster?

When a disaster strikes a family, a community or a country, people want to help.

Obviously, everyone does not have the time or ability to respond directly to the scene and give assistance. But almost everyone can do something to help those in need.

One way to help is to volunteer today with your local chapter. As a trained disaster volunteer, you may be called on to help others when they need you most.

Is there another way to help besides volunteering?

Another very important way to help is to send a financial contribution earmarked for the “Disaster Relief Fund” to your local Red Cross chapter.

Are donations of used clothing and canned foods wanted?

While these offers are made with the best intentions, the Red Cross must decline them. Such donations can actually impede the Red Cross relief efforts with the extra time and cost involved in collecting, sorting, cleaning, transporting, storing and distributing them. Your financial contribution ensures that what is actually needed can be purchased in disaster-affected communities.

Are all bulk donations needed?

Some bulk donations can be very helpful to the Red Cross efforts if they are needed relief items that cannot be easily obtained in the area or if they can be used for large numbers of people and distributed in an equitable manner to all disaster victims. For a list of these items, please contact your local Red Cross chapter.

Why does the American Red Cross need to specify items as acceptable?

Certain items may not be of any use during a particular disaster and, therefore, may impede relief efforts. For an item to be acceptable, it must be able to be used equitably for all victims of the disaster or to support the overall Red Cross disaster relief effort and to save budgeted dollars or enhance Red Cross services.

By Cedric A. Johnson – from a Special to the Register Star