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American Red Cross Responds to Numerous NWGA Home Fires

01/31/14 6:15 p.m.

PRESS RELEASE

ROME, Georgia (January 31, 2014)— Local American Red Cross volunteers have responded to several single family home fires and one multi-family home fire this week along with providing support to areas hard hit by the snow and ice. These responses include an apartment fire in Calhoun (Gordon County) that effected several people, a home fire in Adairsville and Cartersville (Bartow County), a home fire in Summerville (Chattooga County), a home fire in Rockmart (Polk County) a home fire in LaFayette and Lookout Mountain (Walker County). The Red Cross volunteers assisted by coordinating and providing assistance in the form of food, clothing, emergency lodging and emotional support due to fire damage to the homes. Last year, the Northwest Georgia Chapter responded to 151 fires. These are 7 of 21 home fires that Red Cross volunteers have responded to within the Northwest Georgia area since January 1st.

“We’re deeply saddened for those affected,” said Chapter Executive Director Jeffrey Putnam. “As we continue to provide support to those affected, we also encourage others to take action to minimize the risk of a home fire.”

The Red Cross recommends two easy steps to help protect your home and loved ones from a fire: get a smoke alarm and create a fire escape plan.
Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including bedrooms.
Test smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year.
Have a plan in place can help you escape, including at least two ways to escape from every room of your home and a meeting spot at a safe distance from your home.
Discuss the plan with everyone in the household and practice it at least twice a year.

Red Cross volunteers on the scene are members of the Chapter’s Disaster Action Team, a group of specially trained volunteers who respond to the scene of a local disaster when called upon at any time of the day or night.

For more Red Cross fire safety and preparedness information visit www.redcross.org/homefires.

During the height of this week’s snow & ice storm, the Red Cross made available to our chapter area counties access to shelter supplies and equipment for warming shelters if the counties chose to open them. Our staff and volunteers also offered guidance and shelter supplies to local schools via Emergency Management officials for sheltering of students.

For more Red Cross winter storm preparedness information visit www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm.

Since the beginning of January, winter storms and freezing temperatures have resulted in more than 600 American Red Cross blood drive cancellations and nearly 20,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations. Overall, 26 states and Washington, D.C. have had blood drives canceled because of weather.

Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals as quickly as donations are coming in. Eligible donors of all blood types are needed now to help restock Red Cross shelves. On average, the Red Cross must collect about 15,000 pints of blood every day for patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. With about 20,000 blood and platelet donations canceled in January alone, the organization has seen the equivalent of having to shut down its operations across the nation for more than an entire day.

BLOOD AND PLATELET DONORS NEEDED There is an urgent need for blood types O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative. Eligible donors with these blood types are strongly encouraged to make an appointment to give in the coming days. There is also an urgent need for platelet donors to make and keep appointments to give. Platelets – a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients - must be transfused within five days of donation, so donations are always needed.

For more Red Cross information about donating blood visit www.redcross.org/blood.

To make a financial donation to your local Red Cross to help people affected by house fires and other disasters here in the United States and around the world, people can click, call or text – visit www.nwgaredcross.org, call 706-291-6648, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; 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 nwgaredcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @NWGARedCross.
 

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