Monday, March 21, 2016

American Red Cross Stands Prepared for an Earthquake

On Saturday March 19, the American Red Cross worked with Berkeley County Emergency Preparedness Department  to hold a sheltering exercise to prepare for the possibility of an earthquake. Berkeley County Sheriff Department, Berkeley County EMD, South Carolina State Guard, 30 Red Cross Volunteers and 30 people posing as earthquake survivors also participated in the simulation.

The Red Cross operated the shelter at Cane Bay High School in Summerville. To make the scenario as realistic as possible, participants responded to real-time updates and adjusted reposes according to the changing conditions.

"It's important everyone is ready to take on their roles so we are prepared when the big one happens," says volunteer Gary Gardener, Mass Care Lead.

In addition to sheltering and feeding survivors, Red Cross volunteers practiced disaster assessment, handling case work, and providing emotional support. After a successful day on Saturday, the Red Cross and it's partners are more prepared to respond together to an earthquake or other major disaster.  

For more information on upcoming Red Cross events in the area or to become a volunteer, visit 


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Successful Smoke Alarm Blitz in The Upstate

Teams of Firefighters and American Red Cross, and Pulse Volunteers knocked on doors across the upstate ready to inform and install smoke alarms this past Saturday. The group was a part of The Red Cross' Home Fire Preparedness Campaign that is helping families across the country prevent and prepare for home fires.

South Carolina consistently ranks within the top ten states for home fire deaths per capita. Behind one of the doors, the volunteers met a new resident who just moved in after her previous home was destroyed in a fire. She was excited to know her new home would have working smoke alarms.

Another especially appreciative resident was Becky, who works full time and worries about her husband at home with health issues. 

In addition to installing 10-year lithium smoke alarms for free, the volunteers informed the community about home fire preparedness and home fire prevention. However, one 5-year old, Caleb was way ahead of them. Caleb explained to the volunteers that he and his siblings know to crawl if they see smoke and where to meet their family after an evacuation.

"Having working smoke alarms almost doubles your chances of surviving a home fire," says Ann Wright, executive director of the American Red Cross. By the end of the day, 270 smoke alarms were installed across Upstate South Carolina. 

To become a Red Cross volunteer, make a financial contribution, or learn more about how to keep your family safe in the event of a fire, visit

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March is Red Cross Month!

Celebrate Red Cross Month this March by giving blood or platelets. March has been recognized as Red Cross Month by every U.S. president since 1943. Red Cross Month is a celebration of supporters who are the face of the Red Cross in their communities, helping to prepare for and bringing help and hope after emergencies.

The Red Cross depends on blood and platelet donors across the nation to collect enough blood and platelets to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals nationwide. Heroes of all blood types are needed to help accident and burn victims, patients undergoing organ transplants, those receiving cancer treatments and others who rely on blood products. 

Appointments can be made by downloading the Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

People can also get involved by hosting a blood drive, volunteering their time, learning lifesaving skills or making a financial contribution to the Red Cross. 

To learn more about how you can become involved in the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross, visit