Evacuation Preparedness: What to Bring

As Tropical Storm Hermine moves north along the eastern seaboard bringing the potential for severe weather, take steps to be ready should you need to evacuate. If local authorities ask you to evacuate, do so immediately. Anyone evacuating to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family:

  • Prescriptions and emergency medications.
  • Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements.
  • Identification to show residence is in affected area and important personal documents.
  • Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items.
  • Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys.
  • Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled.
  • Chargers for any electronic devices you bring with you.
  • Books, games and other ways to entertain your family and yourself.
  • Note – Public health regulations do not permit pets in shelters; service

Download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do before, during and after disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The Emergency App is available in English and Spanish in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

Join us for the Jersey City Police and Fire 9/11 Memorial Blood Drive

911 Blood Drive

Make a Difference in the Lives of Louisiana Families as a Virtual Volunteer in New Jersey

The American Red Cross New Jersey Region is seeking volunteers to serve as Virtual Disaster Case Workers for current and future disasters. This role can be fulfilled from the convenience of your own home or office in New Jersey.

All that is required is a phone, internet connectivity, a quiet, confidential place to work and a willingness to be trained in Red Cross disaster case work procedures. Although it is not required, the Red Cross is seeking individuals with prior case work experience and those with a social work, psychology, mental health credential or related professional background.

Interested? Simply register as a Red Cross volunteer, participate in an online orientation, comply with a basic background check and receive free Disaster Relief Operation Virtual Case Work training.

Virtual volunteer case workers are assisting those affected by massive flooding in Louisiana. Join us. Sign up now to help our neighbors in need. Go to redcross.org/Volunteer. Enter your zip code and select Disaster Services as your interest. Click on DCS Disaster Cycle Services Virtual Case Worker to get started. For more information, send an email to: Volunteerservicesnj@redcross.org

How to Help Those Affected by Unprecedented Flooding in Louisiana

West Virginia Floods 2016

June 29, 2016. Clay, West Virginia. Red Cross volunteer Marie Loyons serves hot food to Mary Nichols. The Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle is at Clay High School at a community relief distribution point to assist flood victims from Clay, West Virginia. The vehicle contains 300 hot meals of chicken dumplings and mixed vegetables, along with pudding or a cookie for desert. Photo by Daniel Cima for the American Red Cross

Thank you to all who have reached out regarding how to help those affected by massive flooding in Louisiana. Many have asked how they can donate goods to support the families impacted. The American Red Cross does not accept or solicit small quantities of individual donations of items for emergency relief purposes. Items such as collections of food, used clothing, and shoes often must be cleaned, sorted, and repackaged which impedes the valuable resources of money, time, and personnel that are needed for other aspects of our relief operation.

The Red Cross, in partnership with other organizations, suggests that the best use for those types of donations is to support needy organizations within donors’ local communities.

How to Help

People can donate by visiting redcross.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters.

For more information about Red Cross response to disasters, please visit redcross.org.

In Memoriam – Linda de Quintal

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Linda de Quintal, disaster workforce engagement support manager, American Red Cross New Jersey Region, pictured with here with Rick Paul, disaster program manager, American Red Cross New Jersey Region, was dedicated to helping those impacted by disasters large and small.

The American Red Cross mourns the loss of long time Red Crosser Linda de Quintal who passed away suddenly on June 8, 2016.

Wanting to lend a helping hand following the attacks of September 11, 2001, Linda became a Red Cross volunteer. For more than a decade Linda served as a compassionate, caring and devoted volunteer. During her tenure she served as an instructor for Health & Safety and disaster courses, training coordinator for Disaster Services and volunteer partner to the state disaster officer for New Jersey. Additionally, Linda was a valued member of the Red Cross New Jersey Crossroads Board of Directors where she held the position of Disaster Chair.

For her expertise and dedication, in 2010 Linda was awarded the American Red Cross Disaster Services Mission Fulfillment Volunteer Award for Training Subject Matter Expert, Capacity Building.

In 2012, Linda accepted a staff position as the lead specialist for disaster readiness, training and planning before moving into a Disaster Workforce Engagement support manager role the following year.

“Linda was in a key role in the New Jersey Region’s Workforce Engagement team – where each and every one of us was connected to her and her volunteer team. Like the center of an hourglass, Linda has guided countless volunteers to the right roles and opportunities within Disaster Cycles Services in New Jersey,” said Michael Prasad, disaster support functions director, American Red Cross New Jersey Region. “Linda’s passing has been a tremendous loss for us – Linda was Red Cross through and through.”

Passionate about helping those devastated by disasters, Linda participated in more than 20 disaster relief operations, including Superstorm Sandy, Winter Storm Jonas and an 83-day deployment to assist with relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina.

Her warmth, kindness and unwavering commitment to help those in need will be greatly missed.

Linda is survived by her father Robert de Quintal, son Daniel Bornkamp, daughter-in-law Carrie Bornkamp and four grandchildren.

 

 

 

 

 

#ChooseYourDay to Donate Blood this Summer

Oakland Donor Center 2013

Every day this summer is a chance to do something life changing and momentous. The American Red Cross urges you to #ChooseYourDay to give blood or platelets and ensure a stable supply for patients in need.

Blood and platelet donations often decline during the summer months when busy summer schedules and vacation plans can cause some donors to be less available to give. Additionally, blood donations at high school and college blood drives, which account for as much as 20 percent of blood donations during the school year, decline when many schools are out of session. But, the need for blood remains constant all summer long.

By choosing your day to schedule a blood or platelet donation through the American Red Cross this summer, you could give hope to a patient in need. Each day, the Red Cross needs 14,000 blood donations to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.

There are 2,376 hours for summer fun between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It only takes an hour – two if you’re giving platelets – to be a lifesaver. So, when you’re making your summer plans this year, make a blood or platelet donation appointment a part of them too.

To find a donation opportunity near you, download the Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

A Volunteer’s Perspective – The Gift of Thank You

26777779870_39d8d36276_oThey came in droves. Little ones and big ones, some wearing Cub Scout hats and others dresses. But all had the same purpose – to send a note of thanks to the service men and women defending their freedom whom they have never met.

As a first-time volunteer for the American Red Cross, I wasn’t sure what I should expect from my first assignment at the NBC 4 New York Telemundo 47 Health & Fitness Expo at MetLife Stadium on Saturday, May 14. I was quickly assigned to man the  Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces booth, with my task being to ask people to write a note or draw a “thank you” picture for the men and women serving our country. These notes will go into care packages for service members, reaching these heroes in distant stretches of the world, who may be very far from the conveniences of modern life and the warmth of friends and family. Others will brighten the days of veterans right here in New Jersey.

My first tip came from the volunteer whom I was relieving from her four-hour shift, “Stand in front of the table in the crowd,” she said. Check! Task one accomplished. I knew that adults would be easier to get on board, it’s harder to say no when you understand the full impact of the sacrifices our service people make. The cards started to build up in the collection box and the swelling sense of pride in the people who said without hesitation “Yes, I’d love to!” slowly burned inside me.

26448621323_cc60613c7c_oWhat I did not expect was the great mass of children who swarmed the table in droves, often covering every available inch to send their sweet messages. Sometimes they signed two cards at a time, meticulously drawing or writing, spending 15 minutes or more while their parents patiently stood by while their children finished their masterpieces.

In the two-and-a-half hours I stood by that table I saw beautifully designed American flags, pictures of soldiers saluting, airplanes, sunshine and more “thank yous” than I’ve seen in a very long time. Graciousness does exist. True appreciation through the beautiful lens of a child’s eye does exist.

26777771200_93cdd18713_oI can’t tell you how full my heart was as I stood at that table. But even more so, as I think about how those letters will cross miles and miles of ocean to reach a service person – someone’s son, daughter, wife, mother, father, friend who is missing them terribly and how this will wrap them in comfort to know their sacrifice is heard, and appreciated. This is the power of the Red Cross.

To learn more about the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces, visit redcross.org.

By Michelle Bauman
volunteer, American Red Cross New Jersey Region