Red Cross Helps 66 Alaskans in the Month of March

RedCross AK image

The American Red Cross of Alaska responds to calls for assistance, on average, almost once a day state-wide. In March, 66 people were assisted; of those assisted, at least 12 were children under the age of 18.  Including, 5 who were listed as young children (0-5).

VOLUNTEERS, all across the state, give up their free time to make this amount of help in their communities possible.

Breakdown of service by area:

Anchorage: 25 individuals received aid.

Kasigluk: 2 individuals receive aid.

Fairbanks: 12 individuals received aid.

Juneau: 3 individuals received aid.

Soldotna: 5 individuals received aid.

Ketchikan: 5 individuals received aid.

Wasilla: 3 individuals received aid.

Diomede: 2 individuals received aid.

Barrow: 4 individuals received aid.

Craig: 4 individuals received aid.

Valdez: 1 individuals received aid.

 

About the American Red Cross of Alaska:
In FY17, the American Red Cross of Alaska offered food, shelter, comfort and hope to 949 Alaskans. We responded to 305 disasters.  Our preparedness / Health and Safety teams installed 2,311 smoke alarms statewide and educated 1,884 youth through our Pillowcase Project. Additionally, our Service to the Armed Forces staff exchanged 957 emergency messages for U.S. military service personnel 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
redcross.org/Alaska or visit us on Twitter at @redcrossak.

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One year later- Thank you for supporting the Red Cross response to the Royal Suites apartment fire

Originally published February 15, 2018
A year ago today, I stood in the Spenard Rec Center and watched about 15 elementary-aged children whiz back and forth on roller boards. They looked like any other group of kids getting some indoor exercise on a cold Anchorage morning.
The wheel boards came to a halt when a Red Cross volunteer and her therapy dog entered the gym. The kids gathered around the pup, eager to have a turn to pet. As they formed a semi-circle and calmly played with their new furry friend, the tragedy they just faced began to unfold. The children talked to the puppy about how they had to jump out of their window that morning because their home was on fire. They described how cold the snow was with only socks on their feet. They talked about how fast they had to get out and how scared they were. The dog’s handler nodded and listened, not saying much, but asked a few opened ended questions to allow the children to grieve.
children petting dogThis week marks the one-year anniversary of the Royal Suites 30-plex apartment fire in the Spenard area. I’d like to say thank you to our community for coming together to support our response efforts that morning.
Because of your generous support, those kids had a warm place to go after losing everything. They had a safe place to sleep with their families. They had toiletries and a warm shower. The school bus picked them up from the Red Cross shelter at the Spenard Rec Center, so they stayed on schedule with their regular daily routine. When they came home to the shelter they had pasta for dinner.
Immediate needs vary for everyone after a disaster. For one person that meant replacing prescription medicines he needed right away. For another it meant new eyeglasses. For many it meant a hug and a friendly person to tell them what they should do next.
Because of your generosity, more than 60 individuals had their immediate needs met when they lost everything and had nowhere to turn. This is your generosity in action and YOU made this help possible.
The Red Cross of Alaska continues to respond on average almost daily to home fires and to help those whose lives have been turned upside down by disaster. Our work is 365 days per year, 24 hours a day.
We could never do it without you.
Sincerely,
Lisa Miller, Red Cross of Alaska chief development officer

Red Cross Helps 89 Alaskans in the Month of February

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The American Red Cross of Alaska responds to calls for assistance, on average, almost once a day state-wide. In February, 89 people were assisted; of those assisted, at least 15 were children under the age of 18.  Including, 9 who were listed as young children (0-5).

VOLUNTEERS, all across the state, give up their free time to make this amount of help in their communities possible.

Breakdown of service by area:

Anchorage: 45 individuals received aid.

Fairbanks: 18 individuals received aid.

North Pole: 2 individuals received aid.

Homer: 2 individuals received aid.

Kenai: 8 individuals received aid.

Ketchikan: 1 individuals received aid.

Wasilla: 12 individuals received aid.

White Mountain: 1 individuals received aid.

About the American Red Cross of Alaska:
In FY17, the American Red Cross of Alaska offered food, shelter, comfort and hope to 949 Alaskans. We responded to 305 disasters.  Our preparedness / Health and Safety teams installed 2,311 smoke alarms statewide and educated 1,884 youth through our Pillowcase Project. Additionally, our Service to the Armed Forces staff exchanged 957 emergency messages for U.S. military service personnel 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
redcross.org/Alaska or visit us on Twitter at @redcrossak.

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Voice of Volunteers: Meet Sandi

Did you know that the Red Cross of Alaska deploys volunteers around the country and around the world, to assist in the aftermath of disasters? Have you considered deploying? If you have, but weren’t sure if you had the necessary skills, volunteer Sandi Hodges can set your mind at ease:  “You just have to have a lot of patience and be flexible.”

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Sandi outside of the Red Cross shelter at the University of California Santa Barbara. The shelter assisted those impacted by the Thomas fire. (photo courtesy of Sandi Hodges)

Sandi knows what she is talking about, having participated in one local deployment and three deployments outside of Alaska. She’s provided relief for those displaced by the Sockeye Fire near Willow, conducted disaster assessment in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, staffed a shelter for those affected by Hurricane Harvey, and traveled to California to assist those impacted by the Thomas fire.

“I joined the Red Cross as a nurse,” Sandi says, and usually serves in that capacity. During a deployment, Sandi spends her 12-hour days connecting clients with mental health services, assisting them in filling prescriptions, providing basic medical care, and perhaps most importantly, lending a listening ear. “People want to tell their tales and want to be heard…you just have to be there to listen to them. Sometimes they just need a shoulder to cry on.”

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The Red Cross established a shelter in Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The photo shows one of four dorms. (photo courtesy of Sandi Hodges)

It can be exhausting work, but Sandi takes comfort in the support she receives from the Red Cross. The organization “really takes care of their people,” she says, “I’m proud to be associated with them and feel happy with the organization.”

Such support allows Sandi to focus on what is really important: the clients. She remembers one instance, passing out food and water to a hurricane-ravaged community. Her group “came up upon one family; they’d lost everything and were really confused and devastated.” After completing the day’s work, Sandi’s group returned to assist the family by emptying the house of its ruined contents. “We just kind of helped the family…overcome the immensity of the whole scene,” she says.

Sandi has found her deployment experiences to be intensely rewarding. She says, “My MO most of my life is helping and volunteering. It’s a nice fit for me and a good feeling.”

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Red Cross volunteers on their way to provide assistance to those displaced by Hurricane Harvey. (photo courtesy of Sandi Hodges)

If you are interested in deploying with the Red Cross, please learn more at www.redcross.org/local/alaska/volunteer.

Red Cross Helps 113 Alaskans in the Month of January

RedCross AK image

The American Red Cross of Alaska responds to calls for assistance, on average, almost once a day state-wide. In January, 113 people were assisted; of those assisted, at least 42 were children under the age of 18.  Including, 10 who were listed as young children (0-5).

VOLUNTEERS, all across the state, give up their free time to make this amount of help in their communities possible.

Breakdown of service by area:

Anchorage: 54 individuals received aid.

Nunapitchuk: 7 individuals received aid.

Fairbanks: 3 individuals received aid.

North Pole: 8 individuals received aid.

Juneau: 4 individuals received aid.

Anchor Point: 3 individuals received aid.

Soldotna: 8 individuals received aid.

Kenai: 14 individuals received aid.

Homer: 1 individual received aid.

Palmer: 3 individuals received aid.

Wasilla: 7 individuals received aid.

Gambell: 1 individuals received aid.

About the American Red Cross of Alaska:
In FY17, the American Red Cross of Alaska offered food, shelter, comfort and hope to 949 Alaskans. We responded to 305 disasters.  Our preparedness / Health and Safety teams installed 2,311 smoke alarms statewide and educated 1,884 youth through our Pillowcase Project. Additionally, our Service to the Armed Forces staff exchanged 957 emergency messages for U.S. military service personnel 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
redcross.org/Alaska or visit us on Twitter at @redcrossak.

         ###

 

One Year Later- Thank You for Supporting the Red Cross Response to the Royal Suites Apartment Fire

children petting dogA year ago today, I stood in the Spenard Rec Center and watched about 15 elementary-aged children whiz back and forth on roller boards. They looked like any other group of kids getting some indoor exercise on a cold Anchorage morning.
The wheel boards came to a halt when a Red Cross volunteer and her therapy dog entered the gym. The kids gathered around the pup, eager to have a turn to pet. As they formed a semi-circle and calmly played with their new furry friend, the tragedy they just faced began to unfold.
The children talked to the puppy about how they had to jump out of their window that morning because their home was on fire. They described how cold the snow was with only socks on their feet. They talked about how fast they had to get out and how scared they were. The dog’s handler nodded and listened, not saying much, but asked a few opened ended questions to allow the children to grieve.
This week marks the one-year anniversary of the Royal Suites 30-plex apartment fire in the Spenard area. I’d like to say thank you to our community for coming together to support our response efforts that morning.
Because of your generous support, those kids had a warm place to go after losing everything. They had a safe place to sleep with their families. They had toiletries and a warm shower. The school bus picked them up from the Red Cross shelter at the Spenard Rec Center, so they stayed on schedule with their regular daily routine. When they came home to the shelter they had pasta for dinner.
Immediate needs vary for everyone after a disaster. For one person that meant replacing prescription medicines he needed right away. For another it meant new eyeglasses. For many it meant a hug and a friendly person to tell them what they should do next.
Because of your generosity, more than 60 individuals had their immediate needs met when they lost everything and had nowhere to turn. This is your generosity in action and YOU made this help possible.
The Red Cross of Alaska continues to respond on average almost daily to home fires and to help those whose lives have been turned upside down by disaster. Our work is 365 days per year, 24 hours a day.
We could never do it without you.
Sincerely,
Lisa Miller, Red Cross of Alaska chief development officer

Red Cross Helps 46 Alaskans in the Month of December

RedCross AK image

The American Red Cross of Alaska responds to calls for assistance, on average, almost once a day state-wide. In December, 46 people were assisted; of those assisted, at least 5 were children under the age of 18.  Including, 10 who were listed as young children (0-5).

VOLUNTEERS, all across the state, give up their free time to make this amount of help in their communities possible.

Breakdown of service by area:

Anchorage: 22 individuals received aid.

North Pole: 2 individuals received aid.

Talkeetna: 2 individuals received aid.

Delta Junction: 4 individuals received aid.

Quinhagak: 4 individuals received aid.

Palmer: 2 individual received aid.

Wasilla: 7 individuals received aid.

Juneau: 2 individuals received aid.

Homer: 1 individuals received aid.

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Earthquake and tsunami safety tips from the Red Cross of Alaska

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The American Red Cross of Alaska was ready and prepared to respond following last night’s 7.9 earthquake that occurred 175 miles southeast of Kodiak and the (lifted) tsunami warning for the coastal areas of British Columbia and Alaska. Our disaster staff and volunteers monitored the situation closely, should we have been called upon to assist residents across the state.

The Red Cross of Alaska would like to remind residents of the importance of being informed and prepared for earthquakes and tsunamis.

Some top tips to keep in mind:

Earthquakes:

  • Remember: Drop, cover and hold.
    • If you are inside when the shaking starts, drop, cover and hold onto something sturdy.
    • Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit.
  • Download the Red Cross Earthquake app to learn more and get information about building an emergency kit. The free Emergency App is available in app stores for smartphones and tablets by searching for the American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/apps.

Tsunamis:

  • Find out if your home, school, workplace or other frequently visited locations are in tsunami hazard areas.
  • If you are in a coastal area and feel an earthquake that lasts 20 seconds or longer:
    • Drop, cover and hold on. You should first protect yourself from the earthquake.
    • When the shaking stops, gather members of your household and move quickly to higher ground away from the coast. A tsunami may be coming within minutes.
  • What do I do after a tsunami?
    • Continue using a NOAA Weather Radio or tuning to a Coast Guard station or a local radio or television station for the latest updates.

Full earthquake safety checklist:

https://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4240216_Earthquake.pdf

Full tsunami safety checklist:

http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4340167_Tsunami.pdf

Video:

Preparedness: Earthquake Safety – Drop, Cover and Hold On:


 

Services to the Armed Forces spreads holiday cheer to new Ft. Wainwright soldiers

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Leadership from Ft. Wainwright and the The American Red Cross of Alaska Services to the Armed Forces (SAF) teamed up to make Christmas Eve a little merrier for a group of new soldiers.

The Red Cross of Alaska Services to the Armed Forces hosted a Christmas Eve dinner at our Fairbanks office for soldiers that  just arrived at Ft. Wainwright.

Leadership from Ft. Wainwright contacted Misty Bruce, our Regional Services to the Armed Forces Specialist to identify this opportunity for the Red Cross to spread some holiday cheer in the local community.

The Red Cross was excited to host a good old-fashioned home cooked meal, and were pleased to host more than 50 soldiers.

SAF staff and volunteers decked the halls and put up a Christmas tree, and even streamed some live football to make the Red Cross office feel homey. The atmosphere offered some familiarity and comfort to the new soldiers who are facing a lot of firsts and are a long way from home.

“Many of the new soldiers have just completed basic training in the lower 48, where the climate is significantly different,” said Bruce. “Additionally, being that Alaska is considered an OCONUS (Outside the Continental United States) duty station, it is extremely costly for soldiers to fly home last minute or during the holidays.”

Bruce went on to explain many of the recruits also face the challenge of not yet having their own car; thus, Red Cross Services to the Armed Forces coordinated with the units to provide transportation, so all had the opportunity to attend the Christmas Eve meal.

And finally- the most important information: What was for dinner?! Red Cross provided a traditional meal of turkey, ham, potatoes and side dishes. All agreed the meal was a success and hope to make this an annual tradition.