Red Cross Helps 20 Residents Displaced by a Multi-Unit Fire at Stone Ridge Apartments in Columbia

On March 6th, we received a call from the Columbia Fire Department about a multi-unit apartment fire that they were battling at Stone Ridge Apartments located at 1000 Watermark Place in Columbia. We immediately begin to dispatch our disaster workers to help meet the immediate needs of all residents that were displaced by the fire.

Here are some photos from our response…

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Our workers provided all 20 displaced residents with financial assistance to purchase food, clothing, shoes and other essential items. We also gave each person a blanket and a hygiene kit, which includes basic items such as a tooth brush, soap, and shampoo. Children were given stuffed animals for a sense of safety and security.

We also worked with the apartment complex to secure temporary housing for all displaced residents.

Thank you to our disaster team for helping make this response possible!

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The Palmetto SC Region is made of up seven Red Cross chapters that span across 35 of 46 counties of South Carolina.  On average, our volunteers respond to a disaster every 6.5 hours.

You can help your neighbors recover from disasters like home fires by making a financial contribution or volunteering your time by visiting redcross.org or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.  Donations may also be mailed to your local Red Cross chapter.  

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New Tornado App Brings Red Cross Safety Information to Mobile Devices

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The new American Red Cross Tornado App puts help right into the hands of people who live in or visit tornado-prone areas. Best of all, it’s free and available for iPhone, iPad and Android smart phone and tablet users.

The Red Cross app gives people instant access to local and real time information on what to do before, during and after tornadoes whether it’s in the community where they live or where they love to vacation.

The app, available in English and Spanish, has a number of features including a high-pitched siren and “tornado warning!” alert that signals when a NOAA tornado warning is in effect. An “all clear!” alert lets users know when a tornado warning has expired or has been cancelled. People who are out of harm’s way can quickly tap the “I’m safe” button to send a message letting loved ones and friends know they are okay.

People across the country can now receive location-based NOAA tornado, severe thunderstorm and flood alerts on their mobile devices and share them on their social networks. Users can share vital information via Facebook, Twitter, text and email. Even if someone doesn’t live in a tornado-prone area, users can have peace of mind knowing they’ll have instant information about loved ones who live in other parts of the country.

Other features of the app include:
• Simple steps and checklists people can use to create an emergency plan and share it with household members;
• Preloaded preparedness content that gives instant access to critical action steps even without mobile connectivity;
• Toolkit with a flashlight, a strobe light and an audible alarm;
• Locations of open Red Cross shelters; and
• Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.

Red Cross First Aid, Hurricane, Earthquake and Wild Fire Apps have already been downloaded more than 2 million times. People have not only downloaded the apps, but have used them to track storms, let loved ones know that they are safe, find Red Cross shelter locations and access other recovery resources. Download the apps today. The Tornado App, along with the others, can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.

While apps can help prepare you for disasters, they are not a substitute for training.  Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED training empowers people to know how to respond to emergencies in case advanced medical help is delayed.  Visit redcross.org/takeaclass for information and to register.

Become a Red Cross Volunteer Today!

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Volunteers are the heart of the American Red Cross, and we’d like you to join us.  Volunteers are involved in every aspect of the Red Cross mission and constitute 98% of our local workforce.

When disasters strike, our Red Cross volunteer disaster responders are on the scene to help individuals who have lost everything.  From home fires to tornadoes, Red Cross volunteer disaster responders are ready seven days a week, 365 days a year to help people in their darkest hours.

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The Red Cross needs you. Find out how rewarding giving your time and efforts can be, by becoming a Red Cross volunteer.

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Interested in becoming a disaster volunteer responder?  Here’s an overview of what you will be doing as a disaster responder….

Disaster Volunteer Responsibilities:

  • Respond to local disasters, providing individuals with Red Cross assistance in the means of shelter and financial assistance to purchase food, clothing, shoes and other essential items, as well as providing them with personal hygiene kits and referrals to community partner agencies
  • Complete necessary paperwork and activate client assistance cards
  • Follow-up with the client/family following the initial disaster response

Requirements:
Disaster Responders

  • Available to be on-call for disaster response shifts: Day shift: 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.; Afterhours shift: 5:00 p.m.- 8:30 a.m. Weekend shift
  • Have access to reliable cell phone and transportation
  • Able to answer late night or early morning calls
  • Ability to handle crisis situations, think clearly, act appropriately and handle others with compassion
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Team player with a positive attitude

Additional Requirements for Client Case Workers/Card Activators

  • Computer access at home that is compatible with Red Cross database system or transportation and access to the office after hours to activate client assistance cards
  • Ability to work in the office or from home

There are many other opportunities to volunteer with the Red Cross if Disaster Reponse isn’t for you. We have other opportunities for volunteers such as blood drives, office management, preparedness, health and safety, school clubs, and many more.

For more information about becoming a Red Cross volunteer, click here or contact Katharine Stafford at (803) 540-1242 or at Katharine.Stafford@redcross.org.

Red Cross Helps Seven University of South Carolina Students after Home Fire

On December 3, 2012, Red Cross disaster responders assisted seven University of South Carolina students that were affected by a home fire located at 1101 Olympia Avenue in Columbia, S.C.  The Red Cross provided financial assistance to all seven students to purchase food, clothing and other essential items. In addition, each student received a Red Cross Comfort Kit filled with basic hygiene items like a tooth brush, toothpaste, soap and shampoo.

Here are three videos that paint the picture of how quickly a disaster can happen and how the Red Cross is there to help…

Since July 1, 2012, the local Red Cross has responded to 482 disasters and has provided immediate emergency assistance to approximately 1601 adults and children.

You can help your neighbors recover from disasters like home fires by making a financial contribution to the American Red Cross today by visiting Redcross.org or by calling (803) 540-1241.  Donations may also be mailed to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 91, Columbia, SC, 29202.

You can also help by becoming a Red Cross volunteer.  For more information about volunteering, call 803-540-1242 or contact your local Red Cross chapter.

Red Cross Volunteers from South Carolina Help with Sandy Relief

A Red Cross volunteer serves food to Jonathan Guzman, a Long Beach, N.Y. resident whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. So far the Red Cross has served 6.4 million meals and snacks.
Photo credit: Anna Kate Twitty/American Red Cross

Over the weekend, we deployed five more volunteers to assist with Sandy disaster relief in the Northeast.  Since this massive relief effort began, the Red Cross has deployed a total of 118 volunteers and eight feeding trucks from South Carolina.  Additional volunteers remain on stand-by and will deploy as needed.   

Local disaster workers, Albert West, Anna Kate Twitty and Mitch Truesdale deployed to New York to help people affected by Sandy. This photo was taken at a fixed feeing site in Cedar Creek Park on Long Island, N.Y.

The Red Cross has been helping people since before Sandy made landfall and will continue to help for weeks and months to come as families get back on their feet. This is likely to be the biggest Red Cross response in the U.S. in the past five years, and we have mobilized the full resources of the organization across the country to get help to people. Right now, nearly 5,100 Red Cross workers from all 50 states are supporting shelters, providing food and water at fixed sites, and driving through neighborhoods to distribute meals and supplies. About 90 percent of these workers are volunteers.

The Red Cross extensive feeding operation in partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention continues, with kitchens and fixed feeding sites spread across New York and New Jersey. So far the Red Cross has served 6.4 million meals and snacks.  Red Cross volunteers are driving through neighborhoods to hand out water, food and relief supplies in more than 300 feeding trucks as well as rental cars, trucks and other vehicles. Visit http://newsroom.redcross.org for more service delivery information.

Sandy left severe devastation across multiple states, and our response will cost millions, If you can help, we encourage you to click, text or call to make a financial donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

You can help people affected by disasters, such as Hurricanes Sandy, floods and wildfires, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters.  Visit http://www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (733-2767).  Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross, Columbia Region P.O. Box 91, Columbia, S.C. 29201.