Do you really know your local Red Cross Chapter?
The Warren County Chapter of the American Red Cross has been serving the residents of Warren County for 96 years.
When you think of the American Red Cross many times images of large scale disasters like a hurricane, tornado or earthquake come to mind. You picture the Red Cross volunteers helping people in their time of need or conducting blood drives to insure the blood supply. But do you really know what your local Red Cross chapter does for Warren County residents?
The Red Cross teaches children what to do during an emergency.
Every year a number of Warren County residents depend upon the Red Cross to help them get through their own personal disaster when their home is damaged or destroyed due to a fire or flooding. Over the past four years the local Red Cross chapter has provided assistance to 256 Warren County residents helping them with their immediate needs for food, clothing and shelter after a fire or flooding. The amount of assistance provided to each family is based on standards set by the national Red Cross and depends on the size of the family and its specific needs at the time of the disaster. There may be a need to help them replace medicine, or eye glasses. If there is an infant in the family extra assistance can be given for formula or diapers.
The Red Cross has also helped with larger community emergencies. In 2007, the Red Cross provided shelter and hot meals to the residents of the Tidioute Towers during the evacuation of their building. In 2009 volunteers supplied food and drinks to first responders at the Berenfeild Container Company fire in Clarendon. During the 2010 flood in Sheffield the Red Cross opened an emergency shelter for the people forced to leave their homes due to the flooding. The Red Cross also provided assistance to families after the flooding to help them replace or repair their hot water tanks and furnaces. The Red Cross provided food and drinks to first responders at water rescues on the Allegheny Reservoir and a search for two men on in the Allegheny National Forest. All Red Cross disaster assisantance is free and is supported by local funding. This funding comes from local donations and the United Fund of Warren County. The local chapter receives no government funding to carry out their mission.
Throughout the year the Red Cross and its disaster volunteers attend community events passing out preparedness information or presenting programs to help people keep themselves or their family safe during emergencies. The information ranges from home fire and winter storm safety to the H1N1 flu prevention. The Red Cross works closely with the Warren County Department of Public Safety and the Local Emergency Planning Committee to prepare residents to respond to emergencies. Recently the Red Cross has offered a new free on-line service to businesses, organizations, and schools to help them determine if they are ready for a disaster.
You may not be aware that the local Red Cross chapter operates a 24/7 emergency communications program to help local families connect with love ones serving in the military. In the event of an emergency, critical accident, illness or death of a service member's immediate family, the Red Cross helps the family communicate this information to the service member no matter where he or she is stationed. The military requires the Red Cross to verify the information and then use it to determine the granting of leave. The Red Cross is currently developing programs to help service members returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan adjust to being home.
Teaching life saving skills is another role the Red Cross plays here in Warren County. The local chapter offers classes in Adult CPR, Infant & Child CPR, First Aid, Life Guarding, and Wilderness First Aid. In the past four years the Warren County Chapter has issued more than 8,200 training certificates for these classes. The Red Cross provides other programs for younger children such as Scrubby Bear, which teaches about germs and hand washing, and Let's Get Ready, which teaches the importance of family emergency plans.
Did you know that the American Red Cross supplies about half of the nation's blood supply? The Warren County chapter assists by conducting local blood drives. The blood drives in Warren County are held at First Presbyterian Church in Warren, the Tidioute Community Charter School, the Sugar Grove Volunteer Fire Department, and the Grace United Methodist Church. Since 2007 the Warren Chapter working with New York Penn Blood Service Region has conducted 110 blood drives collecting 3,194 units of blood. The New York Penn Blood Service Region serves 63 counties in New York and Pennsylvania, an area with a population of 8.6 million people.
The Warren County Chapter of the American Red Cross depends upon local volunteers and local donations to provide its services to the community. The local chapter office is located at 305 Market Street in Warren.