David Skutnik, Regional Director of Communications for the American Red Cross of Eastern Pennsylvania, and Sophie Kluthe, Regional Communications Manager, spoke about ARC campaigns and programs, including their blood collections, emergency and disaster relief and training courses. He talked about the region served, one of the largest in the country, and the various needs – the shore versus the Poconos, inner cities and rural areas, communities facing hurricanes and areas near chemical plants and railroad lines. They noted that disaster could strike anyone, through a storm, a chemical release or a house fire and preparation saves lives. He spoke about Sound the Alarm, a campaign putting free ten-year lithium battery smoke detectors in homes, the pillow case project for children helping them plan for emergency evacuation and their many hand outs and tip sheets on sheltering in place. He recommended that every family create a plan for escape and for meeting up in a safe location and practicing it several times a year, especially for children whose abilities and maturity level changes fast. Ms Kluthe pointed out that they respond to over 62,000 fires each year, and that the American Red Cross is there for the victims, with emergency shelter, food, and even counseling after a disaster, with the nation’s only emergency residential shelter. Mr. Skutnik talked about Red Cross services to emergency responders and to our military when there’s a problem at home. We discussed the ongoing need for blood donations and he described their collection facilities, their local drives and their incentives. Finally, a look at the Red Cross training programs including lifeguard, baby sitter and CPR classes.
For more information go to redcross.org/easternpa