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October 31, 2010

It's almost 'that' time of year again...

Is it just me, or is Halloween not really that scary compared to the weeks after? Each November welcomes large groups of individuals dressed up to support their favorite team, going out to privacy booths to quickly answer some questions and cast their ballot to help decide the victor in a great war. There will soon be no more ducking for cover to avoid the damage. That's right- the Civil War Blood Drive is almost here! (what did you think I was talking about?)


From November 4th to 20th, those that present to donate at blood drives in Oregon and SW Washington can cast their ballot for the University of Oregon Ducks or the Oregon State University Beavers. All this while supporting the great cause of allowing us to stock up the blood supply before the winter weather and vacation season. Special drives will be held on each campus and through the Alumni Associations, but you can donate at any area drive to show support. You can sign-up to donate now!

Help us promote the campaign to others! Link the following graphic (http://www.civilwarblooddrive.com/images/2010/scoreboard2010_sm.gif) on your blog or website to follow updates throughout the campaign. You can also download to print Civil War bookmarks with your teams' football season schedule and details about the Civil War Blood Drive. The Beavers have won the last two years', so the Ducks need to rally to the challenge to fly to victory.

October 29, 2010

Costume Contest at the Red Cross!

Sleepy Hollow, a Mad Scientist, The Addams Family and Thriller Zombies...all of this and more at the 2010 Costume Contest at the Red Cross! Check out the photos below:


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Help Us Help You...with a Halloween Costume

Are you still at a loss as to what you might dress up as for this weekends festivities? Do you love vintage clothing?

Well, after you've reviewed the Red Cross 13 Lucky Tips for a Safe Halloween, take a peek at this flickr album for a few costume ideas.

I ask you, what vintage fashionista wouldn't want to be an adorable nurse from 1952? All you need is a likely to be worn again shirt-dress and an easily affordable Red Cross patch or pin. Top it off with a homemade nurse hat and you're good to go.

Take a cue from our male Red Crossers and find a sweet jumpsuit, stick a Red Cross patch on it and head out the door.

If looking to the past isn't your bag, we suggest you look to the future and become a member of the Intergalactic Federation of the Red Cross.

For more American Red Cross inspired loot check out Red Cross collectibles at www.collectarc.com or enter the search words "Red Cross" at www.etsy.com.


Leave a comment below and tell us...what will you be this Halloween?

October 28, 2010

How to Build a Gluten-Free Emergency Kit


Raise your hand if you have some sort of food allergy or dietary restrictions. Or know someone who does.

By now I'm pretty sure we all have our hands raised.

Just a reminder: If you or someone in your household has dietary restrictions, make sure you account for that when packing your emergency kit.

I, myself, am vegetarian. So I've made sure that my kit has lots of vegetarian baked beans and other yummy protein sources. (Side note: after having recently discovered the deliciousness of these fake jerky strips I'm totally planning to toss some of them in there!)

While a vegetarian diet is fairly easy to accommodate, gluten-free can be a little more challenging. Luckily, we recently came across the Gluten Free Insider's handy list of foods they recommend for a gluten-free kit. So share it with your gluten-free friends! I'm going to.

Ultimately, whatever your food allergy or dietary restriction, just make sure to read the labels of any packaged food you pack in your kit. And it's a good idea to pack some extra allergy meds just in case.


P.S. Need to get started on a basic kit? We've got a few to choose from in our online store.


October 27, 2010

Red Cross Returns to The Doctors Tomorrow!

From heart attacks to blood transfusions to emergency triage, the Red Cross certainly has a part to play in the drama of hospital life. So it makes perfect sense that we've been featured and/or benefited from such medical dramas as House M.D. and HawthoRNe, as well as non-medical shows like The Office, Vampire Diaries and Heroes.

Now, be sure to check out a very special episode of The Doctors tomorrow, October 28, on CBS (check local listings). On the show, "Would You Know What to Do,” the Red Cross provided the entire audience with first aid kits and vouchers for free CPR classes at any chapter. Make sure to stay tuned —the giveaway should take place at the end of the broadcast!

Graphic courtesy of simpalife.com


Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up

Welcome to the Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up, in which we consolidate the international Red Cross and Red Crescent news into one list of bite-sized links for you. It's a non-comprehensive sampling of the larger and/or more intriguing aspects of our global work...

RUSSIA: The Russian Red Cross is providing assistance in 22 villages after massive flooding destroyed homes.

INDONESIA: The Indonesian Red Cross is responding to two disasters at once. The eruption of Mt. Merapi has displaced more than 8,000 people. Volunteers are supporting the evacuation process, providing medical care and establishing field kitchens. Tragically, one volunteer lost his life while helping to evacuate residents from the eruption zone. At the same time, search and rescue teams are bringing tents and body bags to the Mentawai islands where an earthquake-triggered tsunami has killed hundreds and left hundreds more missing.

MALAWI: More than 220,000 people are now protected from malaria thanks to a large-scale distribution of mosquito nets by the Malawi Red Cross.

SOMALIA: In recent months, hundreds of civilians have been wounded in fighting and thousands more forced to flee their homes. The ICRC continues to provide hundreds of thousands of people with food, medical assistance and other aid.

HAITI: In response to the cholera outbreak, the Haitian Red Cross sent medical supplies to the main hospital in Saint Marc, including intraveneous fluids, antibiotics and first aid kits, to support patient treatment. Hundreds of hygiene promotion volunteers are also being trained in cholera preparedness and prevention. They'll travel door to door across camps. Local radio networks, text messages and Haitian media are also being used to disseminate cholera prevention information as widely as possible.


GLOSSARY:
ICRC = International Committee of the Red Cross
IFRC = International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

"Dunant" Yourself!

Chances are, if you remember nothing else about Red Cross founder Henry Dunant after yesterday's little history lesson, you'll remember his beard.

Man, could that guy grow a killer beard.

And now - thanks to the DunantMyself web app from the Austrian Red Cross - you, too, can have your own awesome Dunant beard! How awesome is that!

I chose Young Dunant Beard, but you can also pick Old Dunant Beard, or even Painted Portrait of Dunant Beard.

So Dunant Yourself in honor of the 100th anniversary of his death. Yes, it's goofy. That's what's great about it. It's a ridiculous(ly awesome) way to show your support for the Red Cross/Red Crescent humanitarian movement. You can even post the photo directly to facebook!

I dare you to make it your profile pic.















P.S. "Solferino Sucks" refers to the Battle of Solferino not the current day town, which I'm sure it's pretty cool.


October 26, 2010

Remembering (and Discovering) Henry

This Saturday will mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Henry Dunant, who won the first ever Nobel Peace Prize for his role in starting the Red Cross movement.

Henry was a complex guy. He had great ideas (and a great beard), but apparently not so great business sense and not so great social skills, which is why - I'm sorry to say - he ended up dying pretty sad and lonely.

But now, 100 years later, the small town where he spent the last quarter of his life is paying him tribute. This TIME magazine article gives a fascinating look into the man, his work, and the last place he called home.

P.S. Read all the way to the last paragraph. Pretty cool coincidence, huh?

October 22, 2010

Make A Difference Day Is Tomorrow!

Make a Difference Day is a national event encompassing the most comprehensive nation-wide day of helping others. USA Weekend reports that in 2009, 3 million people participated in the national day of neighbor helping neighbor, and accomplished thousands of projects in hundreds of towns.

This Saturday marks Make A Difference Day's 20th year...and what better way to celebrate than by connecting with the Red Cross!

No matter what your interest or cause is, the Red Cross is an incredible organization to find your volunteer niche. Just look below at the endless opportunities through the Red Cross!

Donate Blood: Nearly 4 million people donated blood through the American Red Cross in 2009! Literally give part of yourself to help save the lives of others. Call 1-800 RED CROSS or schedule your appointment online.

Not sure you're ready to roll up your sleeve? You can still be a critical part of the donation process as a Blood Drive Ambassador, Community Outreach Volunteer, Language Interpreter and more.

You can also educate high school youth on the importance of blood by b
ecoming a "Red for Life" educator!

Teach CPR, Emergency Preparedness and more:
Sudden cardiac arrest claims the lives of more than 200,000 people in the U.S. every year. As many as twelve children between the ages of four and 19 are injured every minute. Become trained to provide lifesaving skills by teaching First Aid, CPR and even Emergency Preparedness classes!

Bring Relief to Victims of Disasters: Fires, Floods, Earthquakes, Snowstorms....Disasters can be difficult and sometimes impossible to predict. Join the Disaster Action Team, which
operates 24 hours a day to provide aid for those facing emergencies. In the winter, volunteer with our Warming Centers to deliver comfort to those most vulnerable from the freezing temperatures.

To support the operations of education and emergency relief, office volunteers are also always needed!

Cute Dog Photos!!! (...And Pet Preparedness)

Would you know what to do with your pet in a disaster? In an emergency, the most important thing you can do for your pets is to evacuate with them.

But here's the rub -- American Red Cross shelters don't accept pets. And there are very good reasons for this:
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • And general fear of animals
Since we need to accommodate everyone, pets (with the exception of service animals) just aren't part of the equation.

But times are changing. Right now, animal service agencies from Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington and Clark Counties are working together to create PET shelters co-located with Red Cross people shelters. There's even a Portland Region Animal Shelter Plan in the works.

To test out just how a co-located pet shelter would work, there was a "Paws & Claws" drill earlier this week. The scenario: A damaging earthquake forced the evacuation of 1,500 Portland residents and businesses. Clackamas County agreed to open a Red Cross shelter at the County Fairgrounds in Canby. The County and the Red Cross asked the Portland Region Animal Multi-Agency Coordination Group (MAC-G) to activate a temporary animal shelter at the Fairgrounds to accommodate anticipated companion and service animals accompanying evacuees.

I'm pleased to say that all went ADORABLY well. I even took photos for you (note that we didn't have real cats, but did have stuffed animals):



Keep in mind that while this particular "disaster" had a shelter for pets, that might not always be the case. Make sure you know where boarding facilities and hotels that accept pets are located. And always have a pet disaster kit. If you need more tips on pet preparedness, check here.

October 21, 2010

Brian From The Blood Drive

It's been a while since we've had a Red Cross missed connection!


If your name is Brian, you work for the Red Cross and you think Wisconsin is funny (don't we all?), you might have found true love....or a stalker. Let us know if you connect!

Who Knew? Earthquake Preparedness

We've posted the Who Knew? videos before...mainly because they're AWESOME, but also because they're often relevant to our work.

This time, earthquakes and preparedness get the creative treatment, making this the coolest video yet. Check it out!

October 20, 2010

Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up

Welcome to the Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up, in which we consolidate the international Red Cross and Red Crescent news into one list of bite-sized links for you. It's a non-comprehensive sampling of the larger and/or more intriguing aspects of our global work...

VIET NAM: From ox carts to canoes, the Viet Nam Red Cross is using what it takes to reach flood survivors with food, clothing, clean water and other relief supplies. (As you know, the American Red Cross has also committed $30,000 to the disaster response.)

CHILE: Throughout the trapped miners' 70-day ordeal the 40 Chilean Red Cross volunteers worked in shifts, ensuring a permanent presence among the 33 miners’ families and friends, offering them constant support - and they will remain at the side of the miners and their families for as long as they are needed.

PAKISTAN: The deputy head of the ICRC delegation in Islamabad explains how the ICRC is helping hundreds of thousands of people caught between a natural disaster and armed violence.

HUNGARY: The Hungarian Red Cross is helping to break the cycle of urban vulnerability by sheltering and empowering families experiencing homelessness.


GLOSSARY:
ICRC = International Committee of the Red Cross
IFRC = International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

The Sleekest Way To Study Tsunamis

What do you think the building in this photo is? A futuristic resort hotel? A billionaire's crazy cool house boat? An oceanic theme park?

Nope! It's actually a tsunami research facility - or rather, it will be a tsunami research facility.

This is the proposed design for a building in Bali intended to further research and better preparedness for tsunamis like the one that struck Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand in 2004. We're kind of geeking out about this in the office since it represents a combination of so many things we adore: gorgeous design, science, and helping to save lives.

Even though it's not yet built, we're already putting this on our daydream list of Super-Sleek Life-Saving Vacation Destinations. (A list that also includes the space-age blood bank in Japan.) Want to come with us?

Related:
- Learn about the lives rebuilt with our tsunami recovery program.
- If you live or vacation on the coast, make sure you read up on tsunami safety.

Ride for Red Hits PDX!

A Canadian beauty queen and an Olympic bobsledder rode their bikes through Portland; one stop on their 4000km (2485 mile) "Ride For Red" from Calgary, Alberta to Santa Monica, California. They even took time to donate blood while here!

The "Ride for Red" is a philanthropic effort to raise funds for both the American and Canadian Red Cross. The team is made up of Shannon Lynn, Miss Canada 2009 and Miss North America 2010, and Christina Smith, Canadian Olympic Bobsled Team.

You can follow their progress online at:

Ride For Red Website – www.therideforred.com
Blog: therideforred.blogspot.com
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/rideforredORG
Twitter: www.twitter.com/therideforred


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

October 18, 2010

Vinegar On A Jellyfish Sting And Other Helpful Tips

Because I know you swim with jellyfish on a frequent basis...

Revised first aid guidelines were released today and there are some updated recommendations for the treatment of snake bites, anaphylaxis (shock), jellyfish stings and severe bleeding. Here's the scoop:

Jellyfish Stings: The revised guidelines reaffirm the recommendation to use vinegar to treat the sting. The vinegar neutralizes the venom and may prevent it from spreading. After the vinegar deactivates the venom, immersing the area in hot water for about 20 minutes is effective for reducing pain.

Snake Bites: The treatment for snake bites has been amended slightly to recommend applying a pressure immobilization bandage to any venomous snake bite, with pressure being applied around the entire length of the bitten extremity.

Anaphylaxis: If symptoms persist after a few minutes of giving the patient an epinephrine injection from a prescribed auto-injector and medical help is delayed, the first aid provider can give a second epinephrine injection from a prescribed auto-injector.

Severe Bleeding: The guidelines recommend that the general public not routinely use hemostatic agents (substances used to help stop bleeding) to control bleeding because of significant variability in effectiveness and the potential for adverse effects. Tourniquets and hemostatic agents should be considered alternatives for professional rescuers when direct pressure is not possible or fails to control bleeding.

And, with that (and a Red Cross first aid class), you're up-to-date!

Photo courtesy of Sprengben [why not get a friend]

Red Cross Nights at Scream at the Beach!

Scream at the Beach, located at the Janzen Beach Super Center, is the largest and most popular Halloween event in the Northwest! Filled with spooky scenery, amazing illusions, and scary surprises, Scream at the Beach is one of the finest Halloween events you'll find anywhere. For more general information, please visit screamatthebeach.com

This week, from October 18 through October 21, Scream at the Beach is providing special $5 off coupons, located here: oregonredcross.org/scream

Better yet, $1 of every ticket sold using this coupon will be donated to the Red Cross Chapter sites in Portland and Southwest Washington!

Treat yourself and your favorite fiends to the frightening merriment during the most spirited season of all! Halloween time at Scream at the Beach materializes all manner of frightening attractions, entertainment, food and merchandise for guests of all ages.

This coupon can be freely distributed to anyone and everyone. You may print these in color or black and white to pass out, or simply send them electronically to save on printing costs. The more we promote this event, the more donated dollars the Red Cross receives.

Information and graphic courtesy of screamatthebeach.com

October 15, 2010

Friday Final Cut

It's Friday, and I once again find myself with a plethora of stories. So here's your final cut...everything that I want to share, but don't have time to blog.

Enjoy!

Together We Prepare


It’s Friday and you’re probably counting down the hours until you get to run home for the weekend. Before you do, think about committing one hour a month to service. Believe me, you’ll feel super productive if you do.

Many people want to volunteer for the Red Cross, but can’t make a weekly commitment. Often times your schedule changes from month to month and you just don’t know if you have time.

How does giving one hour per month to educate your community about disaster preparedness sound?

The Emergency Services Department is looking for new volunteers to help teach their disaster preparedness presentations, called Together We Prepare Oregon. By giving your time just once a month, you will teach people in your community how to make a family emergency plan, build a disaster kit and stay informed.

Not convinced yet? Stop by our Community Presenters Informational Meeting on October 27th from 6 – 7 pm at the Oregon Trail Chapter, Tillamook Room. We’ll have dinner, interesting information and current volunteers to impart their wisdom.

To RSVP or for more information, contact Lauren Woodward at 503-528-5657 or woodwardl@redcross-pdx.org.

Silver and Sparkles and Pearls. Oh My!

Hey gals. We know you love jewelry. And guys. You know gals love to get jewelry.

But, do you know what’s even better than buying jewelry? When part of the proceeds benefit the American Red Cross!

Moto Jewelry is offering to donate $10 of your jewelry order to one of two charities from now until Thanksgiving. And on orders $50 or above, they’ll donate 20%! of your order. I don’t want to freak you out but the holidays are lying just around the bend. I’m just sayin’.

Check out these gorgeous baubles:

I don’t know about you but to me this sounds like the do-gooder deal of the year. See the rest of Moto Jewelery's designs here...

http://motojewelry.blogspot.com/search/label/for%20sale


October 14, 2010

Pee And Poo And You

Ah, fall. A time of corn mazes and costumes. Candy corn and cider. And, with all due alliteration...

The Citizen Corps Conference!

The conference is set for November 2-6 at the Holiday Inn Portland Airport and it's a great opportunity to beef up your preparedness, response and recovery skills. The public is very welcome.

Here's are just a few of the more intriguing course offerings:
  • Holistic Hazard Mitigation
  • Disaster Psychological Intervention
  • Map your Neighborhood
  • Using Social Media
  • FRS and HAM Radio Use During Disasters
  • Useful Spanish Phrases for First Responders
And then there are my two favorites -- Dealing with Difficult People and...OMG...wait for it...What to do with Pee and Poo. I honestly have NO IDEA what that course will entail, but COME ON, you know you wanna find out!

The good news is that it'll only cost you $5 to attend the conference, thanks to grant funding that brought the original price of $40 way, way down. If you'd like to register or for more details, go here:


Diversapalooza!

Tuesday was the third annual “One Red Cross” Multi-Cultural Celebration, but as a newbie to this chapter it was my first time attending. As I write this I’m already looking forward to next year’s celebration. It was that awesome.



Antoinette Edwards and the rest of the Diversity Task Force put together a two hour fun-fest filled with an insane variety of food and drink, music and dance, and a heaping handful of new facts about cultures other than our own.

I was very much looking forward to representing my New Zealand heritage and although a Pavlova Cake is more recognizably Kiwi I decided to put together a Lolly Cake. You can’t go wrong with something sweet. A mere five ingredients, Lolly Cake can best be described as a sugar explosion. Although it doesn’t look as appetizing as it tastes, especially when sitting amongst the gorgeous spread of nibbles and treats that were there, by the end of the celebration it was gone.

After we filled our plates with traditional dishes ranging from Jewish to Jamaican, the Royal Blues, Grant High School’s Chamber Choir, Alonzo Chadwick and our very own Laura Reese showed us their very talented musical side. And I think I can speak for all when I say we were captivated by the authentic dance performances from Sebe Kan African drums and dancers, NAYA Native American dancers, and Subashini Ganesan, an East Indian dancer. I was so inspired by the soulful dancing that next year I’m thinking about sharing my version of the Haka.

Aside from food, music and dance, a few of our community leaders shared their thoughts on why it’s important to celebrate our diversity. Our CEO, Maree Wacker, Portland Police Chief, Mike Reese, and Multnomah County Chief Diversity and Equity Officer, Daryl Dixon all believe in the power of a thriving diverse workplace.

Despite the inevitable sugar crash, our Multi-Cultural Celebration was a success. Music, food and fun do wonders at bringing a variety of communities together. We filled our bellies and we filled our hearts and I say we make it happen more often.

Don't Ignore the Chirp

Five nights ago, I started hearing a high-pitched chirping in my house. I recognized it immediately. My smoke alarm's batteries had seen better days. I don’t spend a lot of time home between work, school, and my internship at the Red Cross, so it didn't bother me enough to change them immediately.

In fact, I grew accustomed to the high pitched warning chirps. This seems slightly hypocritical since I just helped write a fire safety press release. And…October is Fire Prevention Month. It was time to get those changed.

I went home last night to find my entire smoke alarm dismantled. At least the chirping was gone. This would have satisfied my pre-Red Cross self, but after hearing countless horror stories of people losing everything from home fires I couldn't just ignore it. The Oregon Red Cross alone responds to home fires about every 20 hours!

I replaced my 9 volt batteries and my smoke alarm is now up and running. Beware! Not all smoke alarms chirp, so don't wait for it. Check your smoke alarm monthly and change the batteries once a year. You should also change the entire smoke detector every ten years. For more information on fire prevention, visit the Oregon Red Cross's Fire Safety and Prevention Checklist.

This video also offers some great tips.

October 12, 2010

Battlestar Galactica's ending could have been spoiled by... blood facts?

If you have followed television over the past decade, you likely have gotten caught by one of the epic story-arch shows with movie-style story writing and filming. After years of watching the story develop, the inevitable conclusion makes one question if the end could have been predicted. Over this past weekend at New York's Comic-Con, it was shown that Battlestar Galactica did reveal it's series finale twist... during the 2nd season. How did no one spot it? It requires a keen eye and knowledge of blood science!

SPOILER ALERT!
If you haven't watched Battlestar Galactica and don't want the ending spoiled, you shouldn't read below.

In the upcoming book The Science of Battlestar Galactica, much of the confusing details of humans versus (human looking?) Cylons are examined. As a teaser during a Battlestar panel, the author (Patrick Di Justo) mentioned that the half human, half Cylon fetus in Season 2 is noted as having no blood type- and this is shocking to the ship's crew. No blood type means no blood antigens (A or B). Apparently the humans in Battlestar Galactica all had A and/or B blood types. However, in reality about 40% of the population has Type O (antigen-free blood). Cylons are presented in the show as having Type O blood, which is believe to be a mutation of Type A.


For us to have Type O, we would have to be descendants of both humans and Cylons (the twist ending of the series).

It also means that humans in Battlestar Galactica likely had difficulty when it comes to blood donations. Type O is considered the universal blood type in most need for when emergencies don't allow the time for blood typing. This is why we value our O donors so much- even if they may be distant relatives of intergalactic toasters.

Photo: SyFy

We're All Right



"In August, 2009, Portland resident Kate Raphael moved with her husband and three children to Santiago, Chile, for one year. They were seeking adventure and the experience of living abroad. They got more than they bargained for.

On February 27, 2010, an 8.8 magnitude earthquake -- the seventh largest in recorded history -- struck central Chile. The earthquake was immediately followed by two tsunamis that wiped out hundreds of miles of coastline and fishing villages. The family was vacationing at the coast at the time, and fled to higher ground.

This video was produced and narrated by Kate Raphael. She is immensely grateful to her son, Sutton Raphael, who somehow had the presence of mind to pick up his video camera and capture footage immediately after the earthquake struck."

Read an overview of their year in Chile, as recorded on the
Raphael family website/blog.

Big thanks to
Multnomah County Emergency Management for sharing!

October 11, 2010

What Does Your Desk Say About You?

"Your desk is some kind of protection – both symbolic and actually physical," says design critic Alice Twemlow in this sweet little video about the role of desks in our lives.

And she's right. Whether your desk is messy(like Einstein's was), neat, sleek or shabby chic, it's often the best protection you have in the event of an earthquake. (You do know how to Drop, Cover, Hold On, right?)

As they point out in the film, your desk also says a lot about the way you operate. For example, I have a safety tube and a bunch of emergency granola bars in one drawer, and a big case of water bottles sitting on the floor underneath. Not surprising (and not uncommon) for a Red Crosser's desk.

What does your desk say about you?

(Please tell me you at least have a safety tube...)

Desk - Music and Sound Design from Aaron Trinder Film:Motion:Music on Vimeo.

October 8, 2010

Toilet Ad Big Winner For Australian Red Cross

We've previously professed our undying love for the Australian Red Cross. They are cute, mellow, creative, clever and edgy. They've also got a great sense of humor, as is evident from their recent "For the Love Of Humanity" Facebook campaign.

The campaign launched with a VERY attention-getting billboard that involved a toilet, cost pennies, built massive buzz and went on to win a major advertising award.


October 7, 2010

Your Impact. The World's Story.


I’ve never given CPR in an emergency. I’ve never been on the scene at a disaster. And I’ve never held someone’s hand after their house had burned down. Still, I believe I play a great role in humanitarian aid.

As an employee of the Red Cross I get to lay my head on the pillow each night and know that every day I am contributing to a cause greater than myself. When someone asks me what I do for a living I’m proud to share. Yet, with the daily grind of financial development work, the big picture can often be forgotten. I’m behind the scenes, processing financial donations, working with numbers and names, and rarely seeing first hand what impact I am truly making.

That’s why I was excited to see the American Red Cross participating in One Day on Earth. On October 10th 2010 {10-10-10}, thousands of participants from around the world will film themselves in an effort to record the human experience over a 24-hour period. One of many causes helping to document the world’s story, the American Red Cross is asking you to tell your Red Cross story. All you need to do is create a sign with a word or two that tells the world who you are and what impact you are making through the Red Cross. Record your name and your sign on video, then upload it to the website (below is my still photo but be sure you get yours on video!).

No matter how small you may think your impact may be, get creative and be a part of this valuable social initiative. Join me in sharing your Red Cross story. I’m Miranda Hansen, Financial Donor Devotee!

Sign up here: http://www.onedayonearth.org/group/redcross

It’s the largest participatory media event in history. What are you waiting for? Share your impact. Share your story.


New Rescue App Works...Kind Of

There's a new app, but I'm not sure I'd count on it in an emergency. Would you?

October 6, 2010

Red Cross Superheroes!

True superheroes give blood and learn CPR.

A while ago, real life superheroes from Zetaman.TV visited the Portland Red Cross to donate blood, become CPR certified and "fight the great evil of apathy” - direct quote!

They were kind enough to wear their costumes so that we could snap a few pics. There's no question we feel safer with these guys (and gals!) around! Check out the rest of the photos on our Flickr and Facebook sites!

James Roddey (+ Daughter) Makes A Video

Our friend James Roddey (aka The Prophet of Doom) stopped by this morning to say hi. Just hi, mind you, no imminent death and destruction foretold.

He also tipped me off to this video, created with the help of his 12-year-old daughter...which, he assures me, is why it's so good.


Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up

Welcome to the Worldwide Wednesday Wrap-Up, in which we consolidate the international Red Cross and Red Crescent news into one list of bite-sized links for you. It's a non-comprehensive sampling of the larger and/or more intriguing aspects of our global work...

HUNGARY: The Hungarian Red Cross has mobilized a team of 50 volunteers to assist evacuees after a serious industrial accident near the village of Kolontár. They're also setting up temporary shelters and delivering mineral water, food, camp beds and blankets to the worst-affected settlements.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC/SUDAN: With the help of the ICRC, seven children have rejoined their families after escaping violence.

PAKISTAN: After the massive flooding, 37 National Societies in the Red Cross/Red Crescent global network have been working with the IFRC to support the Pakistan Red Crescent Society in providing relief items and shelter for nearly one million people. This week, the IFRC announced plans for a second round of relief aid distribution.

YEMEN: The fighting that erupted recently in southern Yemen has forced thousands out of their homes. In the north of the country, thousands more remain dependent on humanitarian aid. The ICRC is working with the Yemen Red Crescent Society to supply urgently needed assistance.


GLOSSARY:
ICRC = International Committee of the Red Cross
IFRC = International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

October 5, 2010

#Just1Thing You've Done!

Whether or not you won our #just1thing contest (and we haven't picked all the winners yet...hang in there!), I thought you'd like to know what your friends, neighbors and fellow "preppers" were busy doing during National Preparedness Month.

For your reading pleasure, here's the list of all the #just1things submitted!

---------------------

@wolfeblog: Got a kerosene Coleman lamp, stove, and fuel stored away.

@NonTweetable: 10 gallons of bottled water at hand. And a box of band-aids

@OzarksRedCross: Telling folks about the Life Hammer Key Chain - http://bit.ly/Res-Q-Me is #just1thing our chapter is doing to be more Red Cross #Ready

@digitalschmidt : Making a copy of @Hermanns house key.

@LifeWorksNW: We're going to finish up the last bits in our emergency kit.

@GenCubed: We have a zombie apocalypse contingency plan in place in our operational plan.

@ForceResource: Following #RedCross and DOING what you suggest not just reading it!

@Schnik:

  • Storing scanned copies of important documents offsite for disasters :)
  • I've got an entire desk drawer full of snacks… Just in case. :)
  • I’ve got a cribbage board and deck of cards in my trunk. :)
  • Why I use @foursquare: If i'm ever reported as missing, you'll know where I was and when. #just1thing

@onisan1: I taught my dog to find the stairs in case of fire.

@drusbury: Stocking up on Chef Boyardee.

@PerryElkins:

  • Friend sends to say #just1thing he does is to: "Always keep a list. Always prioritize the list. Always put ice cream first." =)
  • Promoted a Blood Drive Today: http://bit.ly/RC-BloodDrive #Volunteer #NPM10
  • Put gas in the Jeep, even though I do not PLAN on needing to go anywhere this weekend.
  • Saved emergency numbers in my cell phone under ICE "In Case of Emergency..."
  • #just1thing we've done is train cats to "go to basement for treats" when storm siren sounds. Fire-Alarm-Back-Porch-Treats next.

@bluespruceinv: I'm going to turn my phone into a disaster resource! http://bit.ly/d0YXox

@Govnerdgrrl: I'm going to repack my *dog's* "go bag."

@ClareJulissa: My #just1thing is making sure I always have a bar of chocolate on hand for any emergency

@hyprmut: My #just1thing for Nat'l Disaster Prep Month: Move the camp/emergency gear into accessible single point in new house.

@chirpandtweet: We have a kit ready for preschool that has snacks, water & note from mom & dad.

@DisasterDenise: Essentials for a disaster supply kit include battery operated radio, flashlight, & batteries.

@bdhoffmeister: Take child/infant CPR or put a stuffed animal/security blanket in your preparedness kit

@StumptownMom: Make sure you have appropriately sized clothes & diapers in 72 hour kit. I need to change mine out!

@72hourplan: Carry communication card in wallet, purse, school backpack. Know your contacts!

@wcoem: Nat'l Prep Month Tip-Want to help in an emergency? Start a disaster response team at your church.

@dphizzle: I’m setting aside water - 1 gallon per person, per day (3 day supply for evacuation, 2 week supply for home).

@jtotheco: I keep extra gear in the car (coat/boots/gloves/water/food) in case I get stranded/inclement weather.

@lkissler: I'm going to check my "go-bag" and make sure all of my flashlight batteries are fresh!

@starlit: Stock batteries for mom’s blood pressure wrist cuff

@donnak4: I recommend putting food your kids love in your emergency kit.

@marylgallegos: Cleaned, re-filled and sealed 72 hour water supply for family

@Jugbo: I need to inspect and replace old and missing items in our first aid/earthquake kits.

@MayFam11: I’m updating my family kit with season specific items: sweat shirts, stocking caps, warm gloves/socks.

@MySalem: #just1thing I do to be more prepared for an emergency is to take note of the emergency exits when I enter a room or a building.

@minaretcrew: minaretcrew is doing #just1thing to be more disaster ready: reading the @RedCrossPDX blog to learn more about preparedness (& getting lots of ideas)!

@wscott5799: My #just1thing is having Tinker toys available. Good distraction to take my mind off of what's happening.

@LouiseHornor:

  • Inspired by your challenge, tonight I will replace pet food in our emergency "ditch bag" with fresh kibbles. #just1thing
  • In Richmond, VA, preparing a @RedCross facility for an emergency. It's isn't personal preparedness, but it is still #just1thing

@ChelszzzB: Travel first aid kit.

@colbyreade:

  • I make sure I have a stash of water and nonperishable foods in my DESK in case we get stuck.
  • We have a stash of food, toys & treats for our puppy w/ our family so they can get him if we're stuck.

@Underdogpdx: Drinking beer and hoping to dull the pain.

@akitofan: Pet preparedness: Buying Costco-sized food and treats so they won't go hungry.

@Sarah_Dunlap: I bought lots of rice in order to be prepared. I also have camping gear.

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Did I miss your tweet? Just send me a link to it and I'll add it to the list!

And a HUGE thank you to all for participating on Twitter and -- better yet -- getting prepared for anything!