By American Red Cross South Florida Region

A Survivor’s Gratitude On Veterans Day

By Estefania Garcia

Bernard Darty still vividly remembers the American soldiers who came to the rescue. The youngest son of a Jewish family living in Paris during the German occupation, he had been living in hiding in the outskirts of the city for two years. His family had been scattered – his mother and eldest brother to Auschwitz, another brother escaped to join the French resistance and his two sisters also escaped. He was losing hope and knew time was running out before he was captured. He was not even 10 years old.

He survived, he says in a moving letter to the Red Cross, “thanks to the hundreds of thousands of American men your country sent to land in Normandy in June 1944.”

Now, in honor of the U.S. Armed Forces who saved his and countless lives and liberated his country, Darty has given the American Red Cross a half a million-dollar gift. This is the largest single gift ever received by the Red Cross designated specifically for its military and veteran’s programs.

Throughout his life, Darty always felt a deep gratitude and beholden to the American soldiers who secured his freedom. After seeing the devastation caused by multiple disasters in the U.S., he felt compelled to finally give back.

In giving this donation, I want to thank Americans with all my heart for coming to rescue us in our hour of need, Darty explained in his letter.

He hopes his gift inspires other like-minded Europeans to show their support of U.S. veterans.

To learn how you can also support our military and veteran families, please visit RedCross.org #SWFL #SouthFlorida #RedCross.

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Recognizing a Need and Responding

By Charlotte Rodriguez

Fernando and his wife, Claudia had no prior Red Cross experience, however, they saw a need and wanted to help their community as #HurricaneIrma arrived in Southwest Florida exacerbating the impact of recent floods.  Fernando said, “We passed the Red Cross shelter in Estero and saw the long lines waiting for safety and shelter and wanted to help. We saw the volunteers working frantically to check people into the Red Cross shelter. We called to find out how to help and became volunteers.”

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Originally from Colombia, the couple lives and own a business in Estero, Florida.   Currently, both are working at the shelter in Estero along with other Red Cross volunteers from across the country.  Fluent in English and their native Spanish, the couple is an asset to residents and staff.  Fernando helps with the intake of new residents as well as monitoring who comes and goes from the shelter.  Claudia has worked with case workers assisting residents to reach out to some of our partner organizations for needs.

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Estero Rec Center Red Cross shelter, Estero, Florida.
Photo by Daniel Cima for The American Red Cross

Because of their experiences serving as local Event Based Volunteers, the couple plans to sign on as regular chapter volunteers.  Fernando, cheerfully commented, “I want to have a Red Cross vest!”  They look forward to additional training and serving on a regular basis.

As for this couple, serving as an event based volunteer provides an opportunity to support their local community as well as a chance to determine if they want become a regular volunteer. For the Red Cross, their support provides us with the increased capability to give help abd hope the community during a disaster. To learn how you can #Volunteer, give or get help, please visit RedCross.org #SWFL #SouthFlorida #RedCross

 

Hope for Children in Shelters

Story by Charlotte Rodriguez 

 

When disaster strikes, hope may seem far away, not just for adults but even more so for children who are displaced from the comfort of their homes. In Estero, Florida, there are currently about 75 children ranging from new born through high school students living in a Red Cross shelter after being displaced from the homes by Hurricane Irma several weeks ago. 

 

While the Red Cross goal is to ensure that the shelter residents find permanent housing solutions, until then, we attempt to make the shelter comfortable and safe. After living in the shelter for weeks, the families and the children in particular begin to get restless. 

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Shelter managers and Red Cross workers try to work with the children to help with the cooped up energy. However, recreation is not a core function for our Red Cross workers but our local partners often step in to assist with entertaining the children.  

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DSC04152.JPGTwo such partners are the Children’s Movement of Florida and Scholastic My Time, both focused on the betterment of children. These two organizations worked with the Red Cross to present a children’s comfort kit for the children impacted by Hurricane Irma and temporarily at the Estero Florida shelter.  

 

Along with “Clifford the Big Red Dog”, representatives from the Children’s Movement and Scholastic visited the Estero shelter to provide a small gift of hope and inspiration to help our children handle the stress and anxiety of living through a hurricane.   

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Children gathered around Clifford to hear the reading of a story of hope before each was presented with Scholastic My Time’s box for comfort and fun gift. The gift is based on principles from the fields of child development and mental health. It includes tools that can be used to help children handle stress and anxiety. including an age appropriate writing and drawing book, colored pencils and crayons and info for parents on coping with difficult situations.  

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As with all disasters, comfort comes in many ways from this small gift to a hug to a warm meal and a safe and dry place to weather the storm.  Thankfully multiple local partner organizations assist the Red Cross to provide comfort to families impacted by disasters. 

 

 

Just in time, when times are tough.

Kathy Linder has lived in Fisherman’s Cove, a small community deep in the Everglades, for about fourteen years. Hurricane Irma took just about everything from her. This past Saturday, as she continued her seemingly never-ending cleanup efforts, a Red Cross truck drove by her house to deliver some food. Clutching a bottle of cold water in her arms, she talked to us a bit about her situation and the impact of a warm meal.                                                                        

Kathy Linder“There was so much devastation, it looked like someone had dropped an atomic bomb, like a war zone. Most of our belongings are gone, we were not able to save much. You do what you can, we are alive, that’s what counts.

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Some people have it worse than us, I have a home that I’m trying to save. Its gonna take a good cry. I broke a little bit. I got to hold it in and go back to work. We’ll get a day where we’ll cry.  

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Today we were supposed to have a group come with food and they didn’t show up. I said, ‘I hope and pray the Red Cross comes!’ I was so hungry and they did! If it wasn’t for the Red Cross bringing food, I don’t know what we’d do. Thank you.”

 

Stories of Resilience: South Florida Recovers from Hurricane Irma

In South Florida, the stories of resilience and recovery after Hurricane Irma are inspiring. The recovery process will take months. For some, it may take years. The Red Cross is here, providing food, shelter and comfort to those in South Florida impacted by the devastating hurricane, while also providing assistance to the people affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Maria.

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Resiliency comes in many forms. In this case, resiliency comes in the form of a first birthday spent in a Red Cross shelter, smiling and giggling at the attention from family and Red Cross workers. 

Cherie and Jimmy stayed in a shelter after Hurricane Irma destroyed their Sebring, Florida home. Recently out of surgery, Jimmy was cared for by Red Cross volunteers who sat by his side all night long, making sure he was comfortable and had what he needed. Overnight on October 1, more than 500 people stayed in 7 emergency shelters in Florida in continued response to Hurricane Irma.

Along with our partners, the Red Cross has served more than 1.5 million (1,505,000) meals and snacks across six states. And, we’ve distributed more than 928,000 relief items like diapers, bug spray, cleaning supplies, coolers, and comfort kits containing deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other hygiene items across six states. 120 emergency response vehicles are helping to deliver meals and relief supplies across the hardest-hit areas in Florida. In the story below, the Red Cross did a “Search and Serve,” which is one of many tactics used to identify communities that need assistance. We delivered clean-up kits to families in Washington Park, Florida (Broward County) whose properties were damaged by Hurricane Irma.

More than 1,100 Red Cross workers are responding to Irma now, with nearly 210 additional volunteers on the way. Volunteers are the backbone of Red Cross disaster response. They leave their families and deploy to provide food, shelter and comfort to people recovering from devastating storms, like Hurricane Irma. In some cases, friendships like the one depicted below, are born during disaster response.

Over the last five weeks, the American Red Cross launched a wide-ranging relief effort to help people devastated by three historic, back-to-back hurricanes—Harvey, Irma, and Maria. The Red Cross is in South Florida, and across the country, helping communities recover – and we’re there until we’re no longer needed.

Not Business as Usual

September 25, 2017, Ft. Myers, FL

The last week has not been business as usual for local furniture store owner, Daniel Lubner. Like many other families and businesses, Hurricane Irma put local furniture company Clive Daniel Home on hold, as its employees and customers rode out the storm.

The store owners had made a commitment to continue paying their workers despite the historic disaster, taking care of their employees whether or not the work was there. But what happened next was unexpected for most businesses.

Daniel’s employees told the management that if they were going to get paid, they were going to work. So as soon as the storm passed, Clive Daniel employees leapt immediately into action, helping their neighbors and cleaning up the community.

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When the Clive Daniel showroom didn’t lose power, they saw another way to help.

 

“Our showroom in Naples didn’t lose power so we turned it into a shelter,” said Daniel, “When school was out, it turned a daycare. It was a place where the linemen could go for snacks and water.”

 

But when they heard that the Red Cross was looking for a warehouse to use and weren’t having much luck finding one, they saw the perfect opportunity to help some more.

Clive Daniel opened their Ft. Myers warehouse doors to the Red Cross as a place to store relief supplies to be distributed into the community. Soon Red Cross emergency response vehicles from around the nation poured into the warehouse to help distribute clean up kits, mops, rakes, tarps, bleach, and more into the communities hit hardest by Irma. Not only did they donate the warehouse space, but Clive Daniel drivers and trucks jumped in to support the Red Cross relief operation, helping to deliver these supplies.

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“We took a page from the Red Cross and said, ‘how can we use our resources to help our community?’” said Daniel.

Through it all, the Clive Daniel team has remained humble and grateful, constantly thanking the Red Cross volunteers that dropped everything to help Floridians in need.

“What strikes me is, you got a guy, Dave, in the warehouse,” said Daniel, “He’s been working since before the hurricane happened. He’s a retire veteran who is running circles around the rest of us. So when you see that kind of commitment, it’s inspiring.

“It’s been a life changing experience. We were believers before, and now even more so. It’s great to have an organization where you take the willingness to volunteer and focus and direct it to immediately benefit those who are in need.”

As a local Florida business, Clive Daniel is no stranger to the impacts of hurricanes. They understand that the road to recovery will be a long one for the thousands of families that experienced the wrath of Irma.

“Unfortunately we’ve been through these hurricanes before. So we know there’s immediate needs and long term needs,” said Daniel “We’re going to continue to do what we can to help out. It’s not business as usual.”

Get A Kit

Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.

At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:

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Consider the needs of all family members and add supplies to your kit. Suggested items to help meet additional needs are:

  • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc)
  • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
  • Two-way radios
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Manual can opener
Additional supplies to keep at home or in your survival kit based on the types of disasters common to your area:

  • Whistle
  • N95 or surgical masks
  • Matches
  • Rain gear
  • Towels
  • Work gloves
  • Tools/supplies for securing your home
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Household liquid bleach
  • Entertainment items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
Get Your First Aid Kit

Related Links

Activa Tu Alarma ¡Salva Una Vida!

Arlington Home Fire Campaign 2016

Del 23 de septienbre al 3 de noviembre, voluntarios de la Cruz Roja en coordinación con con los departamentos de bomberos y grupos comunitarios, van a instalar 10,000 alarmas de humo gratuitas en áreas con un alto índice de incendios residenciales.

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Ayúdenos a instalar alarmas de humo gratuitas en su comunidad.

Eventos de prevención de incendios están programados en más de 100 ciudades alrededor del país – en el sur de la Florida tenemos cuatro eventos programados (Ver enlaces abajo), de manera que usted puede ayudar a salvar vidas en su comunidad, y ayudarnos a lograr una meta importante — ¡instalar la millonésima alarma de humo!

Oportunidades de Voluntariado en el sur de Florida:

Activa Tu Alarma – Salva Una Vida. – 9/23/2017 – 10:00 AM – Little Haiti, FL

Activa Tu Alarma – Salva Una Vida. – 9/30/2017 – 10:00 AM – Homestead, FL

Activa Tu Alarma – Salva Una Vida. – 10/7/2017 – 10:00 AM – Miami Gardens, FL

Activa Tu Alarma – Salva Una Vida. – 11/3/2017 – 8:00 AM – Little Havana, FL

Siete personas mueren diariamente por causa de incendios, la mayoría en hogares que no tienen alarmas de humo funcionales. Desafortunadamente, los niños y las personas mayores corren mayor riesgo de perder la vida. Es por eso que en el 2014 la Cruz Roja dió inicio a la campaña ante incendios residenciales. Desde entonces, voluntarios como usted han alzanzado los siguientes logros:

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Cifras al 9 de Agosto, 2017 – Para una actualización oprima AQUI 

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Hay varias formas de participar en Activa tu Alarma – Salva una Vida:

 

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Visite SoundTheAlarm.org ¡Hoy Mismo!

Ready When the Time Comes

It Starts with the Desire to Help People in Need

Ready When the Time Comes® (RWTC) is an American Red Cross corporate and community volunteer program.  It is designed to tap into corporate America’s expertise and the desire of community organizations to help people in need.

RWTC volunteer teams from a range of companies were part of the Red Cross response to disasters, such as Home Fires, Floods, Hurricanes and countless other crisis. The Red Cross trains employees from these partnering organizations and mobilizes them as a community-based volunteer force.

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The RWTC program provides a complete system for recruiting, training and activating volunteer teams—placing them in critical support functions during the disaster cycle (prepare, respond and recover).

Depending on the event, volunteers who take part in the program will serve as a team or individually based on their personal schedules. Team members will be able to manage their own schedules and customize their personal volunteer experience. Companies only need to commit to a half-day volunteer training and allow employees to serve as Red Cross volunteers.

Since its launch in 2000, RWTC has trained 14,000 volunteers from more than 460 businesses and organizations. The program has also been established in all critical disaster zones across the country.

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The program allows organizations to give back to the community by empowering employees to act as disaster-relief volunteers during disasters as well as supporting the Red Cross mission through a diverse array of programs and services.

Companies participating in RWTC enjoy the following benefits:

  • An efficient turn-key way to involve your company and your employees in responding to critical local needs
  • Multiple and varied ways for people to be engaged in the community
  • Opportunity for employees to learn new knowledge and skills
  • Visible alignment with one of the most respected organizations in the country

RWTC Engaging in the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign HFPC

The Fire Preparedness Campaign is a nationwide effort by the Red Cross and partners, in collaboration with local fire departments and aligned with existing preparedness initiatives, to convene community coalitions and mobilize resources to save lives and reduce injuries from home fires. Ready When the Time Comes is an ideal partner to engage in this initiative. See below for resources about RWTC and HFPC.

For additional information, email rwtc@redcross.org.

Temporada Veraniega: La Cruz Roja emite medidas para su seguridad y bienestar este verano.

El clima cálido y las actividades bajo el sol están aquí, por lo cual muchas familias planean disfrutar en la playa o la piscina, excursiones familiares o al disfrutar de un asado con amigos y familiares. Su Cruz Roja ofrece estos consejos para su seguridad y bienestar este verano.

Aquatic Attraction Lifeguarding 2014

Millones de personas están haciendo planes para divertirse este verano y la Cruz Roja Americana quiere todos estén contentos, sanos y seguros.

SEGURIDAD ACUATICA

  1. ¡Tome precauciones en el agua! Asegúrese de que todos en la familia saben nadar.
  2. Al disfrutar de la playa, recuerde vigilar y prestar atención constante a los niños.
  3. Identifique y disminuya los riesgos en la piscina: coloque una cerca alrededor de la misma para evitar caídas accidentales. Rodee su piscina o spa por los cuatro lados, usando cercas de cuatro pies, con puertas que se cierren automáticamente.
  4. Asegurese que todos se ponen el chaleco salvavidas siempre que estén dentro de una lancha o bote, o si se encuentra en una situación que exceda su nivel o habilidad para nadar. Los juguetes y brazaletes inflables acuáticos pueden ser divertidos para los niños, pero no sustituyen un chaleco salvavidas o la supervisión de los adultos.
  5. En la playa, procure nadar acompañado y cerca de la torre del salvadavidas; se aconseja que todos, incluso aquellos que se consideran nadadores experimentados, naden acompañados y en áreas protegidas por guardavidas.

 

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Limpie los faros delanteros y enciéndalos al acercarse el anochecer y siempre manténgalos encendidos durante condiciones climáticas inclementes.

SEGURIDAD AL CONDUCIR

  1. Antes de emprender un viaje, asegurese de estar bien descansado y alerta, recuerde ponerse los cinturones de seguridad, observar los límites de velocidad y las normas de tránsito. Limpie los faros delanteros y enciéndalos al acercarse el anochecer, y recuerde mantenerlos encendidos en caso encuentre mal tiempo en el camimo.
  2. Si tiene que conducir, evite consumir bebidas alcoholicas; planee tener un conductor designado.
  3. Preste total atención al camino. Evite distracciones como los teléfonos celulares. Evite textear al condicir. Sea cual sea el mensaje, puede esperar!
  4. Use precaución al pasar por zonas de trabajo, tanto por su seguridad como la de los trabajadores.
  5. Mantenga su distacia; no siga muy de cerca a otros vehiculos.

 

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Asegúrese de que todos, incluso las mascotas, se mantienen alejados de la parrilla (se recomienda mantener un perímetro de por lo menos tres pies de distancia).

SEGURIDAD AL USAR LA PARRILLA

  1. No se aleje de la parrillera, asegurese de manerse atento al usarla. No agregue líquido combustible si el carbón ya esté encendido. Esto podría causar fuertes quemaduras, incendios o accidentes.
  2. Nunca utilice la parrillera en áreas cerradas, en el interior de su casa, apartamento, carpa de campaña o casa mobil.
  3. Asegúrese de que todos, incluso las mascotas, se mantienen alejados de la parrilla (se recomienda mantener un perímetro de por lo menos tres pies de distancia)
  4. Guarde y use la parrillera al aire libre, alejada de su casa, de las plataformas de madera, ramas o cualquier objeto que pueda causar un incendio.
  5. Al cocinar en la parrillera, recuerde utilizar herramientas con mango largo, hechas especialmente para cocinar en la parrila.

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DESCARGUE LAS APLICACIONES GRATUITAS E LA CRUZ ROJA

La aplicación de emergencias “Emergencia – Cruz Roja Americana” puede ser útil para mantener seguros a usted y a sus seres queridos brindándole información vital con más de 35 alertas diferentes de emergencia y condiciones climáticas graves. La aplicación de Nado de la Cruz Roja (Red Cross Swim App) promueve la educación sobre seguridad en el agua y ayuda a los padres y cuidadores de jóvenes que están aprendiendo a nadar. La aplicación Primeros Auxilios de la Cruz Roja brinda acceso instantáneo a información sobre cómo manejar las emergencias de primeros auxilios más comunes. Descargue estas aplicaciones buscando “Cruz Roja Americana” en su tienda de aplicaciones o en redcross.org/apps.

Nuestra Identidad:

La Cruz Roja Americana provee refugio, alimentos y apoyo emocional a los sobrevivientes de un desastre; Recolecta, procesa y distribuye más del 40% del suministro de sangre; Ofrece capacitación y confianza que permiten salvar vidas al actuar ante casos de emergencia; Ofrece socorro en casos de emergencia a las víctimas de desastres y/o conflictos internacionales y ayuda a nuestros soldados y sus familias. La Cruz Roja es una entidad sin fines de lucro que depende de sus voluntarios y la generosidad del pueblo estadunidense para cumplir con su misión. Para información adicional, por favor visite redcross.org o cruzrojaamericana.org o únase a nosotros en Twitter @SFLRedCross