Friends in Times of Disaster

How a Friend Helped Susan O’Kane Lift her Spirit Following Superstorm Sandy

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Nearly two years after Superstorm Sandy’s ferocious winds and violent storm surge made Weehawken resident Susan O’Kane’s house unlivable, the 80-year-old is back home and nearing the end of repairs to her home of more than 40 years.

In the entryway of her home, that was once filled with several feet of water and collapsing into the basement below, hang two paintings created for her by her friend Francine in commemoration of the one year anniversary of Sandy.

???????????????????????????????“What a gesture to make you happy and lift your spirit,” said Susan who explained that one painting is an abstract representation of a water molecule.

A second painting called Still Waters holds a special place in Susan’s heart.

“I would feel myself begin to sink,” Susan recalled, “and I would see the painting and be reminded that water can be beautiful. It made me think I could get through this and kept me from feeling down.”

Susan credits the loving support of her friends for helping her get through the recovery process.

Read how the American Red Cross helped Susan repair her Sandy-damaged home and see photos from our visit with Susan.

 

The Pillowcase Project on November 8 – Register Now!

??????????????????????????????? The American Red Cross Pillowcase Project is a free interactive preparedness program designed for youth ages 8 to 11. The program aims to increase awareness and understanding of natural hazards, teach safety and emotional coping skills, as well as the importance of personal preparedness. Through instructor-led presentations, students learn the best ways to stay safe and how to create their own emergency supply kits by packing essential items in a pillowcase for easy transport during a disaster. Students also have the opportunity to decorate and personalize their pillowcases and share what they learned with friends and family.  The curriculum meets many of the Common Core State Standards for grades three to five.

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The Red Cross will be holding The Pillowcase Project at locations throughout the region, including the following being held on November 8. Choose your date, time and location and register your children soon, space is limited.

American Red Cross in Princeton
707 Alexander Road, Suite 101
Princeton, New Jersey
Saturday, November 8, 2014 – 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Saturday, November 8, 2014 – 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
The program is free, but registration is required. To register, please contact Joelle Piercy at joelle.piercy@redcross.org or 609-951-2123.

American Red Cross in Somerville
14 West Cliff Street
Somerville, New Jersey
Saturday, November 8, 2014 – 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Saturday, November 8, 2014 – 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
The program is free, but registration is required. To register, please contact Suzanne Anderson at Suzanne.Anderson@redcross.org or 908-725-2217.

American Red Cross in Ridgewood
74 Godwin Avenue
Ridgewood, New Jersey
Saturday, November 8, 2014 – 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Saturday, November 8, 2014 – 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
The program is free, but registration is required. To register, please contact Melanie Hazim at Melanie.hazim@redcross.org or 201-652-3210.

Read how The Pillowcase Project helps children prepare for disasters.

For more information about  disaster preparedness, including The Pillowcase Project, visit redcross.org/prepare.

The program is sponsored by Disney.

October Preparedness Events – Join Us!

October 18 – Be Red Cross Ready Preparedness Presentation

009Red Cross preparedness presenters will show how getting a kit, making a plan and being informed can make a difference during a disaster from noon to 1:30 p.m. at The Hillside Community Center, 274 Hillside Avenue in Hillside.

October 23 – Be Red Cross Ready Preparedness Presentation

Red Cross preparedness presenters will show how getting a kit, making a plan and being informed can make a difference during a disaster from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at A.P. Morris School, Auditorium, 143 Coe Avenue in Hillside.

October 25 - Boy Scouts of America Mercer Area District Scouts Emergency Preparedness Cubarama

Bring you Scouts for a day of hands-on activities and displays designed to help children learn how to prepare for and what to do in the event of emergencies or disasters. Red Cross volunteers will be on hand at the Emergency Preparedness Cubarama offering preparedness information from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Mercer County Community College – West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road in West Windsor. ???????????????????????????????Take a tour of a Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) and learn how the Red Cross assists after a disaster. The Emergency Preparedness Cubarama is open to Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts (Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors), as well as leaders,  parents/guardians, siblings, and friends of Scout participants.

October 27 – Be Red Cross Ready Preparedness Presentation

Red Cross preparedness presenters will show how getting a kit, making a plan and being informed can make a difference during a disaster from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Hillside Municipal Building, Court Room, 1409 Liberty Avenue in Hillside.

October 30 – Be Red Cross Ready Preparedness Presentation

Red Cross preparedness presenters will show how getting a kit, making a plan and being informed can make a difference during a disaster from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Bridgewater Library, 1 Vogt Drive in Bridgewater.

Red Cross to Hold Open House in Newark

Red Cross North Jersey Region Newark Open House Invite 102314

Fantastic Day of Golf at the 2014 Golf Classic!

 

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TPC Jasna Polana in Princeton was a perfect venue, on a nearly perfect afternoon, for a game of golf.  With majestic fairways lined with autumn-hued trees, each golfer and guest at the annual Red Cross Golf Classic was treated to DSC02779eimpeccable service, great golf conditions and overall – an amazing way to spend a Monday afternoon!  More importantly, vital funds were raised to support the mission of the Red Cross.

The outing was held September 29th during National Preparedness Month – a time to encourage people to plan for emergencies at home while reminding golfers about the services they were there to help support.  Last year, the Red Cross North Jersey Region responded to 494 disasters, including home fires, floods and severe storms, and helped New Jersey families during their time of need.

20120104_081450Many New Jersey companies supported the event including Major Sponsor, Johnson & Johnson, Eagle Sponsors, TriState Capital and United Water, and Birdie Sponsor, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

The event committee, led by Greg Pozesky, pulled together an outing that saw a 75% increase in net revenue from the prior year and gave our golfers a memorable day on the links.

Event details included a terrific silent auction, a shot gun start to the sounds of a talented bagpiper, two hole-in-one contests on the ???????????????????????????????course with prizes of $10,000, courtesy of The Chadler Group, and a 2014 Mercedes-Benz, courtesy of Mercedes Benz of Morristown. While no one had a hole-in-one, Ed Susco, member of our Northern New Jersey Board of Directors, claimed to be “this close” to winning the Mercedes!  Maybe next year, Ed!  Congratulations to the Audio Visual Associates and Weeks Marine foursomes for scoring low gross and low net scores on the day.

We are looking forward to topping the 2014 Golf Classic next year! If you are interested in getting involved or reserving your foursome, please contact Kim Goetz at kimberly.goetz@redcross.org.

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Thank you for making our 2014 Golf Classic a success!

4 Ways to Help Prevent the Spread of the Enterovirus D68

Cases of a respiratory illness known as Enterovirus D68 have been reported in a growing number of states, with infants, children and teenagers most likely to become ill from the virus. As of September 16, the virus has been confirmed in 12 states, including New Jersey.

Enterovirus D68 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness. Other symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and muscle and body aches. The virus can be found in an infected person’s saliva, nasal mucus or sputum. It spreads from person to person when someone who is infected coughs, sneezes or when someone touches a contaminated surface.

People experiencing difficulty breathing should see their health care provider. Those with known respiratory illnesses such as asthma are reminded to take their medications and seek care if they experience any problems.

By taking simple steps people can help prevent the spread of the Enterovirus D68.

1. Wash your hands frequently. 

Use soap and water and wash vigorously for at least 20 seconds. If you are in a public restroom, turn off the faucet with a paper towel. Use another paper towel to dry your hands and to open the door as you exit. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used if soap and water are unavailable.

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2. Always cough or sneeze into a tissue.

Use the crook of your elbow or upper arm if you don’t have one. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands to prevent spreading germs.

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3. Disinfect commonly touched surfaces.

Disinfecting items, such as phones, computers, doorknobs, switches and toys will help prevent the virus from spreading. Avoid contact and sharing utensils, cups and bottles with people who are sick.

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4. If you are sick, stay home from school or work to avoid spreading the virus.

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FLU SEASON IS AROUND THE CORNER

While flu vaccinations do not prevent the Enterovirus D68, flu season is fast approaching and now is a good time to get your annual flu shot

Learn how to care for loved ones who are ill by taking Red Cross training courses. Our online Family First Aid and Pediatric CPR course includes lessons on how to respond to respiratory and cardiac emergencies. For more information and for register visit www.redcross.org/take-a-class. Flu prevention tips can be found in the free Red Cross First Aid App and at redcross.org.

My Summer with the Red Cross

By Veronica Danko │Intern, American Red Cross North Jersey Region

This summer, I volunteered with the American Red Cross North Jersey Region at its Princeton location. I began volunteering to fulfill my school’s community service requirement. Although after roughly a week and a half, I had completed the hours I needed for school I was excited about an archiving project I was working on and decided to continue volunteering.

I spent many days sifting through an abundance of Red Cross historical items, some dating back to World War II, from offices across the North Jersey region. As I sorted and cataloged the items, I uncovered some that were particularly interesting. 

DSC00993One collection of items that stood out to me was a set of ten dolls.  I was able to identify a date on one of them, which indicated they were from the World War II era.  Each doll was dressed impeccably in replicas of Red Cross volunteer uniforms that were used during the war.  Uniforms included were those worn by nurse’s aides, junior Red Cross volunteers and blood services.

In addition to the dolls, I cataloged items including uniforms, pins, paintings and propaganda posters among other Red Cross paraphernalia. It was a fun and interesting experience to find and handle these historical objects.

I enjoyed my experience volunteering at the Red Cross.  I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to see how the administrative side of the organization works, and to help out in any way that I could, while working with a fantastic group of people.  I look forward to hopefully doing more work with the Red Cross soon!

 

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