Dracula Visits Red Cross

January 5, 2009

Something funny for you to watch in the New Year!


American Red Cross urges Preparedness for “Deceptive Killers” – Offers Wicked Winter Weather Safety Tips for Your Home and Vehicle

January 5, 2009

As temperatures drop across the country and we head full steam ahead into the winter season, American Red Cross is urging families to take the following actions now to prepare for hazardous winter weather.

“Winter storms can be ‘deceptive killers’ since the majority of winter-related deaths are caused by events related to the heavy snowfall, high winds, and freezing rain that often accompanies them,” said David Pattengale Emergency Services Director. “People can become trapped at home without utilities or other services. Motorists can become stranded in their vehicles. Walking and driving can become hazardous. But people can stay safer if they listen to the advice of local authorities and take action to get prepared ahead of time.”

The Red Cross recommends everyone prepare for severe weather conditions in the following ways:

Get a Disaster Supplies Kit For Your Home:

  • Three-day supply of water (one gallon of water per person per day for drinking and hygiene).
  • Three-day supply of non perishable, high-energy food and a manual can opener.
  • First aid kit and essential medications.
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio.
  • Flashlight, and extra batteries.
  • Extra warm clothing, including boots, mittens, and a hat.
  • Copies of important documents (birth certificate, title/deed to home, insurance policies, etc) in a water-proof container.
  • Get a Disaster Supplies Kit For Your Vehicle: (all of the above plus)
  • Blankets or sleeping bags.
  • Jumper cables.
  • Fire extinguisher (5 lb., A-B-C type).
  • Compass and road maps.
  • Shovel.
  • Tire repair kit and pump.
  • Flares.
  • Extra clothing to keep dry.
  • Sack of sand or cat litter (for tire traction).
  • Tow rope.

Make a Winter Storm Plan:

  • Be prepared to shelter at home in case of severe weather. Have additional food and water stored to last seven to fourteen days.
  • Have extra blankets on hand.
  • Ensure that each member of your household has a warm coat, gloves or mittens, a hat, and water-resistant boots.
  • Assemble a disaster supplies kit for your home and vehicle.
  • Have your vehicle winterized before the weather gets severe.
  • Decide how you would communicate with your family members should you be separated and unable to travel when a winter storm hits.

Be Informed:

  • Learn how you would receive information from local officials should hazardous winter weather affect your neighborhood.
  • Know the difference between a winter storm WATCH (a winter storm is possible in your area) and a winter storm WARNING (a winter storm is headed for your area).
  • Consider getting first aid and CPR training in case you need to respond in an emergency before professionals arrive on the scene.

If the Power Goes Out:

  • Do not use candles for lighting if the power goes out. Use flashlights only.
  • Use items in the refrigerator first, then freezer, then non-perishable foods.
  • Use generators correctly If you have a portable generator and the power goes out, always plan to keep the generator outdoors. Never operate it inside, including the basement, garage, and carport or near any open windows. Connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.
  • Do not hook up a generator directly to your home’s wiring.

Hazardous Winter Travel:

The American Red Cross strongly urges everyone to monitor weather reports and follow the directions of local authorities. If travel is absolutely necessary during potentially dangerous winter weather, inform someone of your travel route, destination and expected arrival time. Store a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle and remember to keep the gas tank near full to avoid ice building up in the gas tank and fuel lines.

In Case of Snow or Black Ice:

  • Stay with your vehicle. Do not try to walk to safety as you risk developing hypothermia and/or frostbite.
  • Tie a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) to the antenna for rescuers to see.
  • Start the vehicle and use the heater for about 10 minutes every hour. Keep the exhaust pipe clear so fumes won’t back up in the vehicle.
  • As you sit, move your arms and legs to keep blood circulating and to help you stay warm.
  • Keep one window away from the blowing wind slightly open to let in air.
  • Leave the overhead light on inside the vehicle when the engine is running so you can be seen.
  • After the snow has stopped falling, raise the hood to indicate you need help.

In Case of a Flood:

Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks, and storm drains. Do not drive around barricades . . . they are there for your safety.

If your vehicle stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.

For more information about how you can prepare for a variety of winter weather-related disasters including winter and ice storms, power outages and floods contact your local American Red Cross office at: (815) 963-8471 or visit: www.rockriver.redcross.org.

Tomorrow! Record a Video Message to the Troops at Culver’s in Dixon, Illinois

January 5, 2009

If you’re in the Dixon, IL area and want to record a message to send to a loved one who’s serving out country at home or abroad you can at Culver’s tomorrow from 11am-6pm. You can record up to a 2 minute message and all you need is the person’s email address to send them this message.

You can even re-record your message if you don’t like the message you recorded the first time! See below a video sent at our last Viditalk event.

The Cosmo Queens Feed the Homeless at Our Emergency Overnight Shelter

December 23, 2008

On December 15, 2008 the Cosmo Queens threw a Holiday Party for our homeless residents at our Emergency Overnight Shelter. Go to cosmoqueens.com to find out more about their organization.

Thanks Cosmo Queens for all that you do! They’re wonderful volunteers at our shelter!!


Cosmo Queens: “Feeding the homeless in December was extra special for a family the Queens adopted this Christmas. Christmas 2008 will be one they remember with a BIG smile! The Queens also served up some entertainment along with the food for the homeless. Hopefully some joy and laughter was brought into the lives of all the special people that were there. Thank you Pat for all you do!
Santa even made a stop by for the kids!

Anderson Packaging Doubles Holiday Fundraising Goal – American Red Cross Rock River Chapter Emergency Overnight Shelter received $11,000!

December 23, 2008

Rock River Chapter is one of four agencies to receive funds garnered through employee fundraiser – the American Red Cross Rock River Chapter Emergency Overnight Shelter received $11,000!

The Rock River Chapter of the American Red Cross is pleased to announce a generous holiday gift from Anderson Packaging. This donation comes as a result of Anderson’s second annual Project E.L.L.F. charitable giving campaign.

The program, “Project E.L.L.F.: Enriching the Lives of the Less Fortunate”, was designed as a grassroots holiday themed voluntary charity donation effort for company workers. Over a three-week period, from December 1st to December 17th, workers submitted donations to nominate teams in a cross-functional competition. Teams raising the most money will greet workers at the plant entrances today in holiday themed costumes at each of the company’s three shifts and multiple facilities. “Going into this year’s campaign we established a goal of $10,000 for employee contributions,” states Tracy Barr, Director of Customer Project Planning at Anderson Packaging. “Despite the very challenging economy, we were astonished to find that we were able to raise $22,000 in employee contributions. It’s truly a testament to our employee’s generosity and sense of community.” With a 100% match from the company, the final tally is $44,000.

David Pattengale, director of the Red Cross Emergency Shelter says, “This donation to our overnight shelter means that our neighbors who may have fallen on hard times will have a place to sleep tonight. It’s important that we keep these people in mind during the holiday season, and the employees of Anderson Packaging have truly stepped up to show they care.”

The Shelter Mission

To meet the temporary shelter needs of a diverse group of individuals who for whatever cause are homeless in the community. We strive to create a safe environment that is free of discrimination and respects human dignity. This will be accomplished by providing positive role models, community education, and support systems which empower and develop guests, volunteers and staff, with a focus on long-term solutions.

About Anderson Packaging

Anderson Packaging, a wholly owned subsidiary of the AmerisourceBergen Corporation, is one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical contract packagers in the United States.

With extensive experience in new-product launches and process startup, Anderson offers specialized services such as package development, including design of child-resistant and patient compliance prompting features, as well as process development, including in-house tooling design and manufacture. Anderson also maintains one of the most progressive process, facilities and validation programs in the contract packaging industry, while maintaining a record of superior quality and service.

Homeless Shelters in Rockford Illinois During the Winter Season – WTVO

December 23, 2008


The recent bitter cold weather is causing many homeless shelters to be filled to capacity. The poor economy was already giving local shelters too much business. But now with this arctic cold weather the last few days, many are scrambling to find enough room for the homeless.

Click here to watch the story.

If you’d like to find out how you can help local homeless shelters by making a donation you can call the American Red Cross at 815-963-8471 or www.rockriver.redcross.org.

The Red Cross Offers Holiday Travel Tips for a Safer Trip to Grandma’s

December 18, 2008

The American Red Cross Helps Winter Drivers Stay on Track

With thousands of people in Rockford hitting the road for holiday travel in the coming weeks, the Rock River Chapter urges families and individuals to take precautions against the deceptive dangers of wintry weather and prepare for winter travel. According to the US Department of Commerce, almost 70 percent of winter injuries related to snow and ice take place as a result of vehicle accidents. But there are steps people can take to stay safer while traveling this winter.

“The American Red Cross recommends that people prepare for disasters and other weather emergencies wherever they spend a lot of time, and for many of us that includes our vehicles,” says Cedric Johnson, Community Relations Coordinator at the Rock River Chapter. “As we gear up for holiday travel, it’s even more important that we all take simple steps to help keep ourselves and our loved ones safer while on the road.”

The American Red Cross offers the following preparedness tips before hitting the road:

Winter-proof your vehicle:

  • Get your vehicle checked by a mechanic and pay extra attention to the battery, tire pressure, heater, defroster, wiper blades and washer fluid.
  • Carry a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle at all times with basics like non-perishable food, water, a battery-operated radio, flashlight, first aid kit, emergency flares, and jumper cables.
  • Make sure your kit includes winter items like a shovel, windshield scraper, blankets, and sand or cat litter for tire traction.
  • Try to keep your gas tank as close to full as possible in case of an emergency and to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.

Before you travel:

  • Let your family or friends know your destination, your primary and alternate route, when you plan on leaving and when you expect to arrive. If your vehicle gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
  • Pay attention to the weather forecast. Your local TV and radio stations can provide updated storm information that can help you avoid treacherous weather.
  • Motorists should also be cautious about animals on the highway.

If you are stranded:

  • Stay with your vehicle and don’t attempt to walk to safety. It’s easy to become disoriented in wind-driven snow and exposure increases your risk of developing hypothermia and frostbite.
  • As you sit, exercise your arms and legs to maintain body heat.
  • Use the heater for 10 minutes every hour and leave the overhead light on when the engine is running so you can be seen. Open the window a crack for fresh air and to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Keep the exhaust pipe clear from snow and ice so fumes won’t back up in the vehicle.
  • Make it easier for rescuers to find you by tying a brightly colored cloth to the antennae.
  • After the snow has subsided, raise your vehicle hood to indicate you need help.

For additional winter safety tips and information on building a disaster supplies kit for your vehicle, contact: (815) 963-8471 or visit www.rockriver.redcross.org.