Stay Safe and Prepared for Winter Weather with Red Cross Tips

Stay indoors and wear warm clothes. Layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing will keep you warmer than a bulky sweater. If you feel too warm, remove layers to avoid sweating; if you feel chilled, add layers. Check on relatives, neighbors and friends, particularly if they are elderly or if they live alone

The storm will bring dangerous travel conditions and the Red Cross urges everyone to stay off the road if possible during severe weather. If you must drive in winter weather, follow these tips:

  • In your vehicle keep a windshield scraper small broom, small sack of sand for generating traction under wheels, a set of tire chains or traction mats, matches in a waterproof container and a brightly colored (preferably red) cloth to tie to the antenna. Also carry an emergency supply kit, including warm clothing.
  • Keep your vehicle’s gas tank full so you can leave right away in an emergency and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road.
  • Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.
  • Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.
  • Don’t pass snow plows.
  • Ramps, bridges and overpasses freeze before roadways.
  • If you become stranded, stay in the vehicle and wait for help. Do not leave the vehicle to search for assistance unless help is visible within 100 yards (91 meters). You can quickly become disoriented and confused in blowing snow.
    • Display a trouble sign to indicate you need help. Hang a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) on the radio antenna and raise the hood after snow stops falling.
    • Run the engine occasionally to keep warm. Turn on the engine for about 10 minutes each hour (or five minutes every half hour). Running the engine for only short periods reduces the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and conserves fuel. Use the heater while the engine is running. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow, and slightly open a downwind window for ventilation.
    • Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running so that you can be seen.

STAY SAFE OUTSIDE

If you must go outside:

  • Wear layered clothing, mittens or gloves, and a hat. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Mittens or gloves and a hat will prevent the loss of body heat.
  • Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from severely cold air. Avoid taking deep breaths; minimize talking.
  • Watch for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses much of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly away from the body.
  • Stretch before you go out. If you go out to shovel snow, do a few stretching exercises to warm up your body. This will reduce your chances of muscle injury.
  • Avoid overexertion, such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a vehicle, or walking in deep snow. The strain from the cold and the hard labor may cause a heart attack. Sweating could lead to a chill and hypothermia.
  • Walk carefully on snowy, icy sidewalks. Slips and falls occur frequently in winter weather, resulting in painful and sometimes disabling injuries.
  • If you must go out during a winter storm, use public transportation if possible. About 70% of winter deaths related to ice and snow occur in automobiles

DOWNLOAD APPS People can download the Red Cross Emergency app for instant access to weather alerts for their area and where loved ones live. Expert medical guidance and a hospital locator are included in the First Aid app in case travelers encounter any mishaps. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps.

Dunkin’ Provides a Sweet Treat and Thanks to January Blood Donors

Local blood donors are in for a sweet treat during the month of January. Dunkin’ of Greater Philadelphia is once again teaming up with the American Red Cross to provide vouchers for a free medium hot coffee and one classic donut to Red Cross blood donors in South New Jersey, Southeaster Pennsylvania and Delaware. Vouchers are redeemable at participating Dunkin’ restaurants in the Greater Philadelphia area, while supplies last.

Blood donation remains a crucially important way to give back during these times. Blood and platelets are needed each day to help patients battling disease and facing the unexpected. Donating blood is an easy way to care for each other and ensure hospitals have the blood products patients rely on.

To schedule an appointment to donate, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit RedCrossBlood.org.

Keep Your Holidays Merry and Bright with the Help of Red Cross Safety Tips

Did you know that December is the peak month for home candle fires? If you’re decorating with candles this holiday season, consider using the battery-operated kind.

The risk of candle fires is so common that nearly one-third of us have left the room or fallen asleep while burning them, according to a 2020 national American Red Cross survey. If you must use candles, never leave them unattended, keep them away from anything that could burn and place them out of reach from children and pets. 

OTHER HOLIDAY DECORATING SAFETY TIPS

  1. Check all holiday light cords to ensure they aren’t frayed or broken. Don’t string too many strands of lights together — no more than three per extension cord. Turn off all holiday lights when going to bed or leaving the house.
  2. Ensure outside decorations are for outdoor use and fasten lights securely to your home or trees. If using hooks or nails outside, make sure they are insulated to avoid an electrocution or fire hazard.
  3. Look for the fire-resistant label when buying an artificial tree. Keep it away from fireplaces, radiators and other sources of heat. Never use electric lights on metallic trees.
  4. If getting a live tree, make sure it’s fresh and keep it watered. Bend the needles up and down to make sure no needles fall off.
  5. Don’t light the fireplace if hanging stockings on the mantel.
  6. Check the labels of older decorations. Some older tinsel is lead-based. If using angel hair, wear gloves to avoid irritation. Avoid breathing in artificial snow.
  7. Have good, stable placement when using a ladder and wear shoes that allow for good traction.

STAY SAFE FROM HOME FIRES Help keep your family safe by testing your smoke alarms monthly and practicing your home fire escape plan until everyone can get out in less than two minutes — the amount of time you may have to leave a burning home before it’s too late.

Visit redcross.org/fire for more information or download the free Red Cross Emergency app (search “American Red Cross” in app stores).

Thanksgiving safety: 10 tips for a safer holiday

The way we celebrate Thanksgiving this year may be a little different due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But what hasn’t changed is the need to stay safe from cooking fires, which typically peak on this holiday.

To help you and your family stay safe, the American Red Cross offers these cooking safety tips and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help protect everyone’s health during Thanksgiving.

STAY SAFE FROM COVID-19 The CDC recommends these lower risk activities:

  1. Avoid attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside our households. Instead, have a small dinner with family and perhaps a virtual dinner with friends and family who live outside the home.
  2. Still want to share favorite dishes with others? Prepare family recipes for nearby loved ones and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and deliver them without direct contact with others.
  3. Love to shop over the holiday? Avoid crowded stores and revert to online shopping.

COOK YOUR FEAST SAFELY Cooking is the top cause of home fires in the U.S. Most often, these emergencies are caused by unattended cooking — a common behavior shared by nearly 70% of us, according to a national Red Cross survey conducted earlier this year. Follow these tips to help stay safe:

  1. Keep an eye on what you fry! Never leave cooking food unattended. If you must leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  2. Move items that can burn away from the stove. This includes dishtowels, bags, boxes, paper and curtains. Also keep children and pets at least three feet away.
  3. Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  4. When frying food, turn the burner off if you see smoke or if the grease starts to boil. Carefully remove the pan from the burner.
  5. Keep a pan lid or a cookie sheet nearby. Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire. This will put out the fire. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  6. Turn pot handles to the back of the stove, so no one bumps them or pulls them over.
  7. Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on. Check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving home to ensure all stoves, ovens and small appliances are turned off.

FREE RESOURCES FOR YOU Download the free Red Cross First Aid app for instant access on how to control bleeding, help someone who is choking and other scenarios. Search “American Red Cross” in app stores.

You can also help keep your family safe by testing your smoke alarms monthly and practicing your home fire escape plan until everyone can get out in less than two minutes — the amount of time you may have to get out of a burning home before it’s too late. Visit redcross.org/fire for more information or download the free Red Cross Emergency app (search “American Red Cross” in app stores).

For COVID-19 safety tips, visit redcross.org/coronavirus.

Recognizing Our Volunteers for Commitment and Years of Service

Our volunteers are our superheroes! Today we recognize Red Cross volunteers throughout New Jersey for their incredible commitment to helping others.

We are pleased to recognize our Pacesetter volunteers, who continuously show strong commitment and dedication to their volunteer positions and responsibilities within a certain line of service. Their actions exemplify the Red Cross commitment to our community! Additionally, we are recognizing some special volunteers for their dedication as they have reached milestone years of service.

Biomedical Services Pacesetters:

Ivanice Kaplan

Jim Healey

Chapter Executives Pacesetters:

Debbie Morowitz

Gina Ference

Michael Cesaro

Red, White and You Committee

Disaster Cycle Services Pacesetters:

Claire Geyer

Cris Chadderton

Financial Development Pacesetters:

Vishnu Venkatapathy

Operations Pacesetters:

Anne McCormick

Elaine Sanford

Kathy Heelan

Service to The Armed Forces Pacesetters:

Ann Handy

Diego Sanchez

Volunteer Services Pacesetters:

East Brunswick Youth Council

Kenan Tutkun

Thank You for 5 Years of Service

Abbi Kent

Caitlin Schlesner

Carol Gawlowski

Cathy Stolle

David Lee

Denise Pobicki

Des Sullivan

Dolores Burke

Gina Ference

Jenny Kate Boardman

Jennifer Lawes

Jill widra Weissman

Juliann Park

Justin Krishnamurti

Ken Quigley

Michelle Ally

Michelle Doubet

Peter Siskin

Ritvik Manda

Shawna Cognigni

Steve Ward

Terrence Lionetti

Thank You for Ten Years of Service

Brenda Walker

Christine Sellitti

Gary Halbe

Jeffrey Einbond

John Kelly

Kathy Sheber

Gerry Norkus

Thank You for Fifteen Years of Service

Barb Brophy

Gene Drood

Mike Prasad

Terri Pycior

Terry Smiley

Thank You for Twenty Years of Service

Casey Clark

Liz Mastrangelo

Glenn Thomson

Jack Shea

JT Thomas

Judy Beck

Sarita Wilson

Ted Wilson

Thank You for Twenty-Five Years of Service

Marilyn Vallejo

Peter Rapaport

Thank You for Forty Years of Service

Frank Manniello

Become a volunteer! Ninety percent of our workforce are volunteers. Our work is possible because of these honorees. Your time and talent can make a real difference in people’s lives. To join our team visit redcross.org/Volunteer.

Show Support for Service Members and Veterans This Holiday Season

New Jersey Volunteers Head to LA to Help After Hurricane Laura

Volunteer Susanne Miller drives fellow Red Crosser Andrea Godshall to the airport for her deployment to Louisiana.

The American Red Cross is in Louisiana and east Texas helping people pick up the pieces after Hurricane Laura devastated entire neighborhoods — as one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the U.S.

The American Red Cross is working closely with local officials and partners to mount a massive relief effort to provide help to people in need.

The Red Cross has mobilized more than 1200 trained disaster workers to support relief efforts on the ground or virtually, including 14 from the New Jersey Region to help with things like sheltering and feeding operations, disaster assessment and warehousing and logistics – making sure supplies get where they are needed.

In addition to those who have left for places hardest hit in Louisiana and Texas, many New Jersey Red Crossers are supporting the disaster relief operation virtually.

Here are just some of those New Jersey volunteers, who have deployed to help.

At this time the Red Cross New Jersey Region is looking to train more volunteers to respond locally during hurricane season. If interested, please visit redcross.org/Volunteer to get started.

Donate Blood in Honor of The 19th Anniversary of 9/11

Make your appointment today using promo code Jersey City 911.

Red Cross Assisting 62 People Displaced by Paterson Fire

Red Cross team members determine potential emergency lodging needs for those displaced by large Paterson fire on August 27, 2020.

Today, a multi-family fire broke out on Mill Street in Paterson, forcing at least 60 people out of their homes and onto the street in the early morning hours. Two Disaster Action Team members met with families and quickly coordinated volunteers to help with virtual casework.

The majority of families did not have vehicles and were provided transportation to the hotel.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, families were transported by the city to a local hotel, serving as a non-congregate shelter. Red Cross volunteers made certain that every person was provided with a face mask, hand sanitizer and some comfort items as they checked into their rooms for some much-needed rest. While families settled in, a hot breakfast was served.

In the next day or two, our volunteers will continue to provide care and comfort to these families while we work with community partners to help with guidance and referrals for their long-term recovery needs.

The American Red Cross is able to provide these disaster relief services and make a difference in our communities because of the generosity of our donors and support of our volunteers. To learn more about supporting the Red Cross or becoming a volunteer visit redcross.org

Honoring our Volunteer Superheroes

Our volunteers are our superheroes! Each year we recognize Red Cross volunteers throughout New Jersey for their incredible commitment to helping others.

We are pleased to recognize our Pacesetter volunteers, who continuously show strong commitment and dedication to their volunteer positions and responsibilities within a certain line of service. Their actions exemplify the Red Cross commitment to our community! We also say THANK YOU to those who have dedicated five or more years to the American Red Cross New Jersey Region.

Northern New Jersey Pacesetters

Biomedical/Blood Services:

Barbara Sisco, Blood Services Administration

Jeff Billig, Blood Services Donor Ambassador

Jean Edouard, Blood Services Scheduler

Bill Kelly, Blood Services Trainer

Joe Goodson, Blood Services Transportation

Ralph Vollweiler, Blood Services Transportation

Abdoulaye Diallo, Blood Services Volunteer Lead

Operations

Isabel Perlaki, Operations Administration

Bob Langford, Operations Front Desk

Kathy Heelan, Operations Reception

Community Volunteer Leader

Chitra Venkatraman, Community Volunteer Leader

Communications and External Relations

Johan Reyes, Communications Disaster Public Affairs

Faye Evans, External Relations Community Partnerships

Financial Development

Au Pair in America, Financial Development Special Events

Volunteer Services – Youth Programs

Elizabeth High School Red Cross Club, Youth Club

Rick Barrett, Youth Council Advisor Team

Karen Connolly, Youth Council Advisor Team

Janet George-Murnick, Youth Council Advisor Team

Julie Siciliano, Youth Council Advisor Team

Jackie Graulich, Youth Club Advisor

Alisha Merchant, Youth Volunteer Leadership

Shaan Rakesh Mody, Youth Volunteer Leadership

International Services

Hank Bernstein, International Services Restoring Family Links

Service to the Armed Forces

Gerry Barton, SAF Holidays for Heroes

Alyson Librizzi, SAF Operations Support

Service to the Armed Forces

Cara Maksimow, SAF Resiliency

Marie Andreozzi, SAF State Homes

Tish Corvino, SAF VA Hospitals

Abbi Kent, SAF VA Hospitals

Board of Directors

Al Cristantiello, Board of Directors Committee Leader

Bill Moore, Board of Directors Committee Leader

Disaster Cycle Services

Jerry Zurawiecki, DCS Disaster Action Team Coordinator

Riksum Kazi, DCS Disaster Action Team Supervisor

Mary Jane Quinlan, DCS Fiscal Review

Helen Jacobson, DCS Health Services

Gary Ellis, DCS Volunteer Partner

Donna Feigenbaum, DCS Youth Preparedness Lead: Pillowcase Project

Central New Jersey Pacesetters

Biomedical/Blood Services

Marilyn Lentz, Blood Services Donor Ambassador

Barb Harrington, Blood Services Donor Ambassador

Jeffrey Einbond, Blood Services Trainer

Ken Heaphy, Blood Services Transportation

Financial Development

Bharathy Parameswaran, Pacesetter Financial Development

Katie Flanders, Pacesetter Financial Development Special Events

Board of Directors

Jay McGovern, Board of Directors

Volunteer Services

Anika Pruthi, Volunteer Intake Processing Center (VIPC)

Shivani Nallapu, VIPC Leadership

Khushi Choudhary, Volunteer Services

Casey Clark, Volunteer Services §Zar Raganas, Youth Volunteer

Service to the Armed Forces

Sheryl Levine, SAF Event Support

Helen Fross, SAF Hero Care Network

Terry Studnicky, SAF Holidays for Heroes

Kyle Chu, SAF State Homes

David Lai-Len, SAF VA Hospitals

Disaster Cycle Services (DCS)

Elena Duca, DCS Disaster Action Team Coordinator

Dana Poplawski, DCS Disaster Action Team Duty Officer

Ray Esteves, DCS Health Services

Rene Gordon, DCS Disaster Response

Bob Spielberger, DCS Volunteer Partner

Barbara Smith, DCS Youth Preparedness Lead

Disaster Cycle Services (DCS) Teams

Jim Moran, DCS Home Fire Campaign Team

Jo Poplawski, DCS Home Fire Campaign Team

Bob Robitzski, DCS Home Fire Campaign Team

Frank Solana, DCS Home Fire Campaign Team

Terry Studnicky, DCS Home Fire Campaign Team

Mary Kelly, DCS Youth Preparedness Team

Pat Philbin, DCS Youth Preparedness Team

Diane Tompkins, DCS Youth Preparedness Team

Southern New Jersey Pacesetters

Disaster Cycle Services (DCS)

Harry Miller, DCS Disaster Action Team Coordinator

Judi Stanish, DCS Home Fire Campaign

The late Vince Giammusso, DCS Logistics

Christine Parkinson, DCS Recovery

Denise Pobicki, DCS Response

Joe Sellers, DCS Youth Preparedness Lead: Pillowcase Project

Stephanie Magee, DCS Youth Preparedness Leadership

Volunteer Services  –  Youth Programs

Pattie Neyra, Youth Services

Jackson Liang, Youth Services

Board of Directors

Gothrie Short, Board Leadership

Kathleen Gillespie, Board of Directors

External Relations

Nancy Culbertson, External Relations

Service to the Armed Forces (SAF)

Ricky Rosario, SAF Event Support

Rachel Hamlin, SAF Hero Care Network

Kasey Bury, SAF Holidays for Heroes Team

Christine Harvey, SAF Holidays for Heroes Team

Jess Bonnan-White, SAF International Humanitarian Law

Kevin Daviau, SAF Medical Clinic

Michelle Harvey, SAF Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS)

Lu Chester, SAF Operations Support

David Mullen, SAF Resiliency

Biomedical/Blood Services

Betty Limanni, Blood Services Administration

Tom & Lois Guion, Blood Services Donor Ambassador

Susan Lulias, Blood Services Donor Ambassador

Dick Essex, Blood Services Leader

Jeanne Heaton, Blood Services Scheduler

Walt Mikota, Blood Services Transportation

Fred Waddell, Blood Services Transportation

Thank You for Your Years of Service

Five Years:

John Aponik

Jennie Asaro

Richard Barnett

Jeff Billig

Paul Boothe

Evan Cancglin

Kellie Cancglin

Alexandrea Cannon

Jamie Capone

Rachel Ceccanecchio

Saketa Chadalavada

Caro Chang

Gene Connors

Patricia Crofcheck

Sharlane Cumberbatch

Linda Denmark

Donald Denneau

Kathleen Dotoli

Biswarup Dutta Choudhury

Barbara Edwards

Susan Esposito

Anne Finnan

Michael Geller

Nicole Gerber

Maria Gonzalez

Scott Goodrich

Antonida Goykhman

Peter Grey

Susan Gronbeck

Debra Hagan

Kathy Hager

Karen Hall

Ed Hansch

Lauren Hansraj

Kathy Heelan

Joyce Henning

Phyllis Hodge

Walter Hopkin

Suhayb Islam

Jessica Jones

Arrshia Kumar

David Lai-Len

Curt Lang

Man Lee

Marilyn Lentz

Janice Lipo

Debra LoFranco Aura Lope

Jessica Lovell

Kalpana Malik

Richard Matula

James McGovern

David McNair

Edward Merklein

Kathleen Mersinger

John Mojta

Nancy Monaco

Shaheen Moosvi

Susan Nanney

Emily O’Malley

Dilek Ozler

Erin Palmer

Antonia Parham

Misse Paulus

Crystal Phillips Quijano

Charles Poppe

Thomas Potavin

Christine Racinez

Karyn Reilly

Pam Ritter

Robert Robitzski

Thomas Rodgers

Millie Rohe Weiner

June Sernak

Debbie Shewprasad

Hailey Shewprasad

Naraine Shewprasad

Abigail Sjosward

Maggie Stavrianidis

Mimi Tefera

Darin Thorn

Ellen Welsh

Ten Years

Marie Andreozzi

Maria Araujo

Leah Daniels

Anita Marie Davidson

Frances Dommeleers

Joan Fox

Thomas Garvey

Janice Haggerty

James Hauck

Andrew Hermann

Helen Holland

Adrian Huns

Jeffrey Joseph

Paul Kalamaras

Margaret M Kelly

Zeba Khan

Indira Kuruganti

Anthony L’Altrelli

Sheryl Levine

Deborah Marinuzzi

Anne McCormick

Laurie Morse

Diane Parker

Adeline Rockko

Carlos Sanchez

Gail Schansinger

Barbara Seligman

Roger Strong

Theresa Syper

Nick Theisz

William Ulrich

Fred Waddell

Lary Wasserman

Michael Williams

Charles Wortmann

Fifteen Years

Martin Campbell

Christopher Cummings

Cynthia D’Onofrio

Naomi Fassler-Theisz

Dulce Ferreira

Bryan Fountain

Claire Geyer

John Gordon

Linda Kolman

Ellen   Korpar

Arthur La Valle

Robert Lawless

Susan Lulias

Alice Matthews

Debbie McDonald

Barbara McNamara

Gina Miranda-Diaz

Richard Moyer

Janet George-Murnick

George Murphy

Diana   Noble

Gary Olivero

Sydney Parker

Karen Paz

Isabel Perlaki

Sandy Pollara

Rebecca Rajhansa

Juliet Rothenberg

Antonia Silver

Sheryl Starr

Susan Stephens

Beverly Stern

Rhonda Thompson

Twenty Years

Sandra Coles

Julie Daigle

Elmer Dey

Sylvia Fountain

Elsie Swartz

Flora Woodruff

Twenty-Five Years

Barbara Dare

Janice Simms

Thirty Years

Lois Guion

Bob Morgan

Edward Pavlick Jr.

Forty-Five Years

Ruth Gardner

Susan Hassmiller

Become a volunteer! Ninety percent of our workforce are volunteers. Our work is possible because of these honorees. Your time and talent can make a real difference in people’s lives. To join our team visit redcross.org/Volunteer.