Special Thanks to Our Volunteers, Employees and Donors During Sandy

Originally posted on American Red Cross Northeast Wisconsin:

By: Trevor Riggen, Vice President of Disaster Services Operations and Logistics, American Red Cross

hurricane-sandy09Today marks the two-year anniversary of one of the largest responses in the long and proud history of this organization. It was a storm and challenge so unique that they had to come up with a new name just to describe it – Superstorm Sandy.  It was a massive, powerful storm that hit the most densely populated area of the country at the tail end of hurricane season followed by falling temperatures, snow, and enormous need throughout the region.

I want to begin by saying thank you to each and every one of you who donated money or raised your hand to join in serving those in need during the long weeks that followed landfall and to the thousands more who have served in our ongoing recovery efforts. So much great work was done by…

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PHOTOS: Disaster Simulation Serves Up Smiles

Dozens gathered Wednesday at the American Red Cross Washington County office to take part in the first ever Real Experience.

Visitors each had an individualized scenario outlining the struggles they were to cope with for the simulation. One woman was suffering from PTSD, had managed to bring her German Shepard along and a tornado had completely leveled her home. Others fictionally struggled with trying to care for multiple distressed children, missing family and friends and more.

Take a look at the photos for a glimpse at just how good we can be when a disaster strikes.

Meet Jon, Americorps Intern

My name is Jon Shelenske. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, with a bachelor degree in Political Science. During college, I had my own radio show and continue doing podcast. I am currently going to school at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay for an Emergency Management Certificate. One of reasons I picked these classes is to be involved in the community.

I believe joining Americorps around their 20th anniversary is a great way to help my community. My goal for Americorps is to prepare individuals in my community if a disaster were to occur and help provide services that the American Red Cross has to offer.


rco_blog_img_JON AMERI

2nd Generation American Red Cross Volunteer

Hi, I’m Katie Kosiboski!

I became an AmeriCorps member at the American Red Cross right after interning with the Ronald McDonald House and Sojourner Family Peace Center. At first I wasn’t so sure about this Red Cross thing. When I was young, my dad was a First Aid Service Team (FAST) Volunteer, so I knew a very little bit about what the Red Cross does. After spending a few weeks here, I’m starting to realize just how important the Red Cross is to the Milwaukee community. I’m also starting to make connections between my Red Cross experience and my internship experiences.

About halfway through my summer with the Ronald McDonald House, I realized that the organization had a lot in common with my prior internship at Sojourner Family Peace Center. A few weeks into my time at the Red Cross, I’m realizing that it also fits into the group. Each organization helps families in need. Although these organizations are very different, at the root of it all, they’re all very similar. They help families to stay safe, comfortable, and most importantly,happy.

Helping others as an intern, and now AmeriCorps member, has been incredibly rewarding, eye-opening, and life-changing; I can only imagine how rewarding it is to do this type of work all day, every day!

I’m finally in the midst my senior year at Mount Mary University! Come May, I will have a degree in Business Administration. I hope to put my degree to good use in a non-profit organization. Although school and work take up most of my time, I own and run Katie’s Doll Hospital, a doll repair service. I try to spend as much time as possible with my friends and family; they always make me smile!

rco_blog_img_Katie Americorp

Red Cross Kicks Off New Campaign To Reduce Home Fire Deaths and Injuries

Efforts will include installing smoke alarms and urging people to practice fire escape plans


10710893_10152718411990071_1668250310886687572_nThe American Red Cross announced today a new campaign throughout Wisconsin and across the country to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires by as much as 25 percent over the next five years.

Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a fire. The Red Cross campaign focuses on joining fire departments and community groups nationwide to install smoke alarms in communities with high numbers of fires and encouraging everyone to practice their fire escape plans.

The Red Cross also is asking every household in America to take the two simple steps that can save lives: checking their existing smoke alarms and practicing fire drills at home.

The Red Cross will begin with canvassing the Thurston Woods neighborhood in Milwaukee and Stevens Point on Saturday morning, October 11th. The Beloit community canvassing will be on November 8th. Each day, teams will be partnered with local fire departments to install smoke alarms in homes that need them and teach people about what they can do now to be prepared should a fire break out in their home because working smoke alarms cuts the risk of someone dying from a home fire in half.

 Simple Steps to Save Lives

Even as the Red Cross and other groups install smoke alarms in some neighborhoods, they are calling on everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home,

There are several things families and individuals can do to increase their chances of surviving a fire:

  • If someone doesn’t have smoke alarms, install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Local building codes vary and there may be additional requirements where someone lives.
  • If someone does have alarms, test them today. If they don’t work, replace them.
  • Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.
  • Practice that plan. What’s the household’s escape time?

 New Poll Shows Many People Have False Sense of Security about Fire Safety

The Red Cross fire preparedness campaign comes at a time when a new national survey shows many Americans have a false sense of security about surviving a fire. The survey, conducted for the Red Cross, shows that people mistakenly believe they have more time than they really do to escape a burning home.

Fire experts agree that people may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. But most Americans (62 percent) mistakenly believe they have at least five minutes to escape. Nearly one in five (18 percent) believe they have ten minutes or more.

When asked about their confidence levels in actually escaping a burning home, roughly four in 10 of those polled (42 percent) believed they could get out in two minutes.

While 69 percent of parents believe their children would know what to do or how to escape with little help, the survey found that many families had not taken necessary steps to support that level of confidence.

  • Less than one in five of families with children age 3-17 (18 percent) report that they’ve actually practiced home fire drills.
  • Less than half of parents (48 percent) have talked to their families about fire safety.
  • Only one third of families with children (30 percent) have identified a safe place to meet outside their home.

For additional fire safety tips please visit http://www.redcross.org

The national public opinion survey was conducted for the Red Cross July 17-20, 2014 using ORC International’s Online CARAVAN omnibus survey. The study was conducted among a national sample of 1,130 American adults, including 311 parents of children aged 3-17. The total sample is balanced to be representative of the US adult population in terms of age, sex, geographic region, race and education.  The margin of error for the total sample of 1,130 adults is +/- 2.92 percent. The margin of error for the sample of 311 parents is +/- 5.56 percent.

Top 10 Songs You Need in Your Life During Fire Safety Month

Originally posted on American Red Cross Northeast Wisconsin:

Here is a clever re-post from  Erin Hunt Miller, Regional Communications Director at American Red Cross, Central Illinois Region

October! Its a month of spooky stuff, football games and, because it is National Fire Safety Month, fire prevention.  I took a very unofficial Red Cross poll of staff and volunteers across the Midwest, and they ranked the following songs as the best fire songs of all time.

10. Rooms on Fire by Stevie Nicks – “Every time that you walk in a room” in your home remember the two ways to escape in case of a fire. Everyone in the family should know this for every room in your home.

9. Fire by the Pointer Sisters - Fire can “have a hold on you right from the start”, so in case of a fire… Get out, stay out and call 9-1-1.

8. I’m on Fire by Bruce Springsteen – “The Boss” may be on fire, but he doesn’t want…

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Red Cross Invite to Community for Multi-Agency Resource Center Planning Session


Individual Client Casework in the MARC Platteville.

“One-Stop Shop” Offers Relief and Recovery Resources Post-Disaster 

When disasters strike the American Red Cross is at the forefront of local disaster assistance; now we are organizing a “one-stop shop” for disaster survivors by planning ahead with non-governmental, other non-profits, religious organizations, the private sector, etc., all to help communities recovery. A Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) is a one-stop shop to help people create personal recovery plans, navigate paperwork, and locate assistance for their specific disaster-caused needs.  In a MARC, representatives from government, non-profit, faith-based and private organizations all come together under the same roof, at the same time, to assist disaster survivors. By hosting informational sessions, we will provide an overview of this collaborative effort, highlight why community partners should learn how & when a MARC is run, and how your organization can benefit from a collaborative effort.

Informational sessions will be held:

To RSVP please email Disaster Services Manager Nick Cluppert or call 920-231-3590.

The first MARC in the state of Wisconsin was opened after this summer’s Platteville tornadoes. Official MARC’s have been opened across the country since the Joplin tornado. One primary finding is that if a community understands the MARC concept, it will be a larger benefit to the community which is the reason why the Red Cross is hosting informational sessions prior to our next big disaster.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; 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 www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.


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