Wisconsin Red Cross Responds And Prepares For Emergencies

In another busy year, the Wisconsin Region of the American Red Cross helped hundreds of thousands of people, within our state and across borders, impacted by disasters. Red Cross disaster workers responded to about 820 Wisconsin disasters, mostly residential fires, since January 1, 2015. In addition, multiple national deployments had locally trained responders traveling among 176 large U.S. disasters – more than each of the past three years. From Wisconsin, we sent 155 trained volunteers and staff to support flooding, wildfires, tornadoes, windstorms and more from coast-to-coast and even into Canada.  Trained workers throughout the state, rolled-up their sleeves to provide shelter, food, disaster relief materials, health and emotional support in addition to financial support for 4,100 Wisconsin clients.

 

“Whether a disaster affects one person or thousands of families, the Red Cross is committed to helping people get back on their feet as quickly as possible,” said Patty Flowers, the Wisconsin Chief Executive Officer. “But we need your support now to continue providing help to families affected by disasters.” The Red Cross depends on generous financial donations to provide disaster services for free. As an example, three local fires each exceeded $10,000 in expenses.

Home Fires Continued to be Largest U.S. Disaster Threat

Amidst all of these devastating events, home fires continued to be the largest disaster threat in the United States. During 2015, nationally the Red Cross provided casework assistance to help 214,000 people whose lives were affected by a home fire. The Red Cross also helped prevent home fires and related injuries and deaths by working with thousands of local partners across the country to install 195,000 smoke alarms and teach 268,000 youth about fire safety. These efforts have saved more than 39-lives so far nationwide.

The Wisconsin initiative has installed 2,077 smoke alarms so far. Community events to install additional alarms are set throughout the state including the Brown County event with a goal to install 1,000 alarms on April 23, 2016. Sadly, we have documented 37 Wisconsin fatalities since the start of the year. With working smoke alarms, the risk of perishing in a fire is cut by 50%. To receive a free smoke alarm, please register athttps://getasmokealarm.org

Nationally, The Pillowcase Project is teaching 3rd – 5th grade youth about disaster preparedness, having a kit, how to stay calm during emergencies and much more. This one-hour curriculum has been taught 95 times to-date and our goal is to reach 5,000 kids by June, 30, 2016. To request The Pillowcase Project presentation for your class, scout group or camp email [email protected].