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American Red Cross of Shenandoah Virginia

Charlottesville, VA

www.redcross.org/centralvirginia

Amount Requested: $10,000 for Home Fire Preparedness and Relief

Mission: The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. Although we are guided by a Congressional Charter, no funding is provided by any government.

Constituents Served: Everyone living in the CFCBR geographic area with disaster related needs has access to Red Cross services.  Assistance is available for everyone who has experienced a disaster and needs help regardless of economic status, race, sex, ethnicity, political beliefs or other affiliations.  In the last 18 months in the CFCBR geographic areas the Red Cross has responded to 29 home fires, provided aid to 101 individuals, installed 81 smoke alarms and trained 66 elementary school students in emergency preparedness.   70% of the Red Cross’ clients had no insurance and over half were children under 18 years old.  Two lives were saved in Covington, Virginia through the Home Fire Campaign.

Program Overview: Home fires kill more people in the U.S. than all natural disasters combined, and they don’t strike everyone equally.  The low-income, elderly, disabled and ethnic/racial minorities experience more home fires than other groups (National Fire Prevention Association, 2014). Seven times a day in the U.S., someone dies in a home fire.  Three of every five home fire deaths occur in homes without a working smoke alarm.

Emergency-management experts believe that responding to disasters is just part of the solution.  The American Red Cross is now playing a deeper, collaborative role in preparing communities across the country.

Disaster Relief:  Each year the Red Cross immediately responds to natural and man-made disasters; the vast majority of the disasters we respond to are home fires.  Through partnerships with local first-responder agencies, the Red Cross is alerted to disasters as soon as they are reported, arriving on the scene within two hours to provide emergency shelter, food, clothing, toiletries, medications and mental health support to devastated families.

Home Fire Campaign: The goal of this five-year program is to reduce the number of deaths and injuries from home fires by 25%.  Partnering with local fire departments, our volunteers canvass neighborhoods at risk for home fires, installing free-of-charge new smoke detectors, replacing batteries in existing alarms and completing home safety checklists and disaster plans.

Pillowcase Project: Red Cross volunteers educate students in grades 3-5 to be prepared in case of an emergency.  Supporting materials were developed in partnership with The Disney Company, providing a standardized curriculum, meeting many performance expectations for the Common Core Math and Language Arts Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.  Students are reached in school classrooms and youth organizations.

Plans in 2016 include several fire canvass events in the Shenandoah Valley, one of these to reach 2,000 people living in trailer parks with fire safety information and smoke alarms.  The Pillowcase Project has been approved to train all 4th graders in Nelson County elementary schools.

Current Operating Budget: $426,052 Disaster Relief budget for Shenandoah Chapter covering 16 counties