Stay Safe this Labor Day Weekend

Travel Preparedness

Many people will be taking road trips, spending time at the beach, and having cookouts this weekend. The American Red Cross offers safety tips to help everyone have a safe and enjoyable time.

“We encourage everyone to take a few simple, safety steps when spending time on the road, at the beach, and at cookouts,” said Cindy Erickson, CEO of the American Red Cross Greater St. Louis Region. “Start by downloading our free First Aid and Swim apps.”

People should also follow these safety tips:

Tips for Safe Travel

  • Take emergency supplies such as food and water, a flashlight, and a First Aid kit.
  • Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive.
  • Buckle up and obey traffic signs.
  • Avoid texting and talking on the phone while driving.
  • Don’t drink and drive.

Tips for Safe Swimming

  • Check weather and beach conditions throughout the day.
  • Always swim in an area supervised by a lifeguard and obey all warnings.
  • Provide close and constant attention to children in or near the water.
  • Stay within arm’s reach of young children and inexperienced swimmers while they are in the water.
  • Young children, inexperienced swimmers and boaters should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

Tips for Safe Grilling

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid after coals have been ignited.
  • Use long-handled utensils.
  • Don’t leave the grill unattended while in use.

The Red Cross has a series of mobile apps in case people run into severe weather or need expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. People can go to for information.



Halloween Tips: Safety First!

By Arman, Communications Intern


It’s that time of year again when 3 foot ghouls and goblins are roaming the streets at night looking for a treat rather than showing a trick.  Everyone loves Halloween especially the little ones. No matter how much we love this holiday, safety comes first. Here are great tips from the American Red Cross on how to be safe during Halloween:

  • You can start by crossing the street only at corners and using traffic signals and crosswalks
  • Look left and right when crossing the road and make sure to walk, not run.
  • Put electronic devices down and keep your head up, this way you can see all the traffic coming along.
  • If you can, you should add reflective tape to your child’s outfit so they can be seen better at night.

As a driver, you should drive extra carefully on Halloween. Little firefighters, princesses and kings will be crossing the roads late at night. Some children may be very excited and move around rapidly:

  • Enter and exit all driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  • Look both ways before exiting and make sure your headlights are on.
  • Popular hours for kids to be out are 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm, so be extra careful around these times if you’re driving home from work and PUT THE PHONE DOWN. The texts and emails can wait 20 minutes.

The most important safety tip is to have kids trick-or-treat with an adult. If your kids are mature enough to be without an adult, they should stay in familiar areas that have a lot of light and should travel in groups.

Enjoy eating nothing but Milk Duds, Snickers and Milky-Way as well as watching the same horror movies from the 80’s and 90’s for the next couple of days. If you have any additional safety tips, feel free to let us know on our Facebook page!

Fire Prevention: No Laughing Matter.

By Tameka, #stlredcross Maven


As a child, I was fascinated with fire. When my mom lit a candle or my dad would start up our fireplace, I’d move in close enough to feel the heat.  I would wave my hands around the flame closer and closer until one of my parents quickly pulled me away, and reiterated the consequences of getting too close.

It looked like “fun” back then, but older and wiser, I know that fire is no laughing matter.  According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 2,400 Americans die in  the nearly 365,000 home fires reported in the U.S. every year. Statistics tell us that fires cause $6 billion in property loss annually.  Although home fires can strike quickly and without warning, most can be prevented.

Next week is Home Fire Prevention Week (October 6-12), and the Red Cross is here to provide the information you need to reduce your risk of home fires.  Here are some fire prevention resources you can check out and share:

–Make a fire escape plan for your household – here’s a template to get you started.
Learn about how to prepare for, respond to, and recover after a home fire.
–Need a checklist to ready your home? We got one for you.
–Here’s a checklist for your pets, too!
Help your kids understand how dangerous fire is, how they can prepare for a fire, and how you can kid-proof your home.
Take a class to learn life-saving skills and be ready for any emergency.
–Don’t have time to take a class? Then download our Red Cross First Aid App — it’s free, easy-to-use, and chock full of preparedness information.
Follow our Twitter page all next week for quick tips for preventing home fires!

Pulse: Who’s Speaking? Emergency Preparedness Academy 2013


Masthead_Version 2

Topics and their Speakers

Impact Based Warning Project for
Tornado and Severe Thunderstorm Warnings

-Jim Kramper, National Weather Service

Life Safety Risks to Schools from Non-Structural
Earthquake and Tornado Damage

-Michael J. Griffin, Creative Construction Solutions Group Inc.

The Story of Baton Rouge Community College After
Hurricane Katrina

-Dr. Myrtle Dorsey, St. Louis Community College

Preparing Employees for Emergencies Away from Work 

-Mark Schuerman, Monsanto

The VirtualOperations Support Team for Disaster

-John Orlando, Emergency Management Consultant

Faith-Based Disaster Relief Plan for Our Community

-Gwen Vicari and Jim McAfee, Belleville Assembly of God

Francis Howell Central is Bully Free: A Student
Centered Approach to Bullying

-Jeremy Rohrback, Francis Howell Central High School
Introduction to Map Your Neighborhood

-Greg Hempen, State of Missouri

Why People Survive Catastrophic Events

-Mark Bagby, Washington University

The Occupationaal Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) Response to Joplin

-Mike Minicky, CSP, OSHA

School Exacuation and Family Reunification

-Jason Matlock and Julie Young-Burns, Minneapolis
Public Schools, Office of Emergency Management,
Safety and Security

Active Shooters: How to Respond

-Doug Wiese, Monsanto Global Security

Bullying: Prevention and Response

-Meg Petri, Progressive Youth Connection

Hands Only CPR, Conscious Choking and Demo
of Automated External Defibrillator (AED) 

-American Red Cross

How to Have a Fright-less Fright Night

By Elena, Regional Preparedness Specialist

It’s been at least 15 years since I last went trick-or-treating, but I still remember it fondly. Every year, I would eagerly wait for my dad to come home from work so he could take me around the neighborhood. Usually you couldn’t see a lot of my costume, since I was bundled up. Even in October, it can be pretty cold in Iowa. (I remember it snowing at least once!)

It’s Swine Flu & Germ-X! Halloween fun at the office.

My dad carried a flashlight and my costumes always had something light colored on them so cars could see me. I quickly walked up to the houses with their lights on to get my haul and would say thank you and hurry back to my dad as we continued our route. My goal was always to get as much candy as possible, but I waited to eat it until I got home and my mom went through it to make sure it was safe.

Eventually, I outgrew the watchful eye of my dad, and would go trick or treating with a group of friends. We always stayed in the neighborhood and only went were we told our parents we would.

Halloween is lots of fun for kids and adults alike and by taking just a few precautions you can keep the frights to the ghosts and goblins.

See more tips here!

PHOTOS: Sears Safety Event!

One of our great volunteers from the Metro West office, Terri Violet, sent in these photos from last week’s Sears Safety Day at Mid Rivers Mall in St. Peters, MO.  The event showcased local emergency services providers including the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department and Central County Fire & Rescue. The event allowed the public to get up-close and personal with the vehicles they use.  Terri, along with volunteers Jan Holmes and Cindy Sheehan, managed the Red Cross table at the event and provided attendees with information on preparedness, health & safety, and other services we offer. Thank you ladies for proudly representing the Red Cross!

VIDEO: National Preparedness Month – “Be Informed!”

September is National Preparedness Month, and this is our last installment of our video series! We, AmeriCorps members, want you to take action this month and from now on, to be Red Cross Ready. Make sure that you have gotten a kit, made a plan and that you are informed, in case of an emergency– and thanks for watching!

Who should be informed? Everyone should take efforts to be informed. Make sure to communicate with other family member in your household. Also, it is a good idea to communicate with elderly family members outside your house and neighbors.

What are ways to be informed? Pay attention to updates from the television, radio (hand crank preferred), storm sirens, loved ones, and pay attention to weather signals. Smart phone users should consult the Red Cross website for weather alert apps available for download.

What is the difference between a disaster “warning” and a “watch?” A watch lets people know a disaster is possibly forming. One might say “watch the sky for clues.” A warning alerts people that a disaster has been spotted and people should get out of the way, or “watch out!”

What are visible weather signals for a disaster?  Typically winds will increase and are often accompanied by rain, hail, and/or snow. The sky usually darkens significantly and may turn green.