Thursday, May 11, 2017

Our Commitment Never Wavers - Red Cross honors those who serve during Military Appreciation Month

May is Military Appreciation Month, a time to honor those who defend our freedom, culminating with Memorial Day, when we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. The American Red Cross is proud to serve those who serve, helping members of the military, veterans and their families prepare for, cope with, and respond to, the challenges of military service.

The Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) program dates back to the establishment of the American Red Cross by Clara Barton in May 1881. Not only did the “Angel of the Battlefield” risk her life tending to soldiers wounded in the Civil War, she bolstered their morale by writing letters for them to send to their families. Today, volunteers and staff with the Red Cross proudly carry on this tradition through the SAF program, which serves as a critical line of communication between the U.S Armed Forces and their families.

In South Carolina, the Red Cross serves more than 126,000 active duty members and their families, as well as more than 520,000 veterans, providing 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families at home and around the world. Red Cross services are provided at no charge to families, including:
·         Emergency Communications - The Hero Care Center is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help connect family members with their loved ones who are deployed overseas.

·         Deployment Services - Whether your family is facing its first deployment or the next of many, the Red Cross has developed workshops, information and support services to help you with the practical and emotional challenges.

·         Services for Veterans - Red Cross services for veterans dates back to World War I and remains consistent with the spirit of our congressional charter. Today, the Red Cross is proud to maintain our commitment to the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

·         Financial Assistance - The Red Cross works in partnership with military aid societies to provide quality, reliable financial assistance to eligible applicants 24/7/365. Assistance can include funds for emergency travel, burial of a loved one, emergency food and shelter, etc.

·         Information Referral - Red Cross offers confidential services to all members of the military, veterans, and their families by connecting them with local, state and national resources through our network of chapters in communities across the United States and offices on military installations worldwide.

·         Hero Care App - Access vital emergency and non-emergency resources for military members, veterans and military families.

The Red Cross salutes the Armed Forces of the United States of America and all members serving in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard as well as all veterans and their families during Military Appreciation Month.


To learn more about how the Red Cross supports those who serve our country, or to become a volunteer and help military families, visit redcross.org/sc.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

Tips from the Red Cross to keep your family safe this summer


Thunderstorms and lightning can be deadly. The American Red Cross wants you to know what you should do to stay safe “When Thunder Roars”.

Thunderstorms and lightning occur more at this time of the year, but can happen year round. They happen more often in the afternoon and evening, but can strike at any time of the day or night.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), lightning is still one of the top three storm-related killers in the United States, causing about 51 fatalities a year. Most lightning victims survive but can suffer debilitating symptoms.

The Red Cross has important steps you can follow to stay safe during a thunderstorm:

  • ·         Keep an eye on the sky. Look for darkening skies, flashes of light, or increasing wind. Listen for the sound of thunder.
  • ·         If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.
  • ·         Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for the latest weather forecasts.
  • ·         As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building. If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.


If you are inside, you should:
  • ·         Unplug appliances. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. (Leaving electric lights on, however, does not increase the chances of your home being struck by lightning.)
  • ·         Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.
  • ·         Turn off the air conditioner. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressor, resulting in a costly repair job.
  • ·         Draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects blown by the wind, the shades will prevent glass from shattering into your home.


If you are caught outside during a thunderstorm and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.

If someone is struck by lightning, check them for burns and other injuries. If the person has stopped breathing, call 9-1-1 and begin CPR. People can learn how to take care of someone in an emergency by taking First Aid and CPR/AED training online or in person. Go to redcross.org/takeaclass for more information.