Friday, August 31, 2012

Be Prepared: Reverse Notification

Reverse telephone notification – are you signed up?
Many counties in Colorado utilize reverse telephone notification systems to notify citizens of emergencies in their area.  These notification systems have many names including Reverse 911, CodeRed, Everbridge and FirstCall. Many people assume that they will be automatically registered for their county’s reverse notification system, but this is not always the case.
What can you do to make sure you are signed up to receive these crucial alerts? Read more after the jump...

Meet Your Bloggers: Mary Hastings

Mary (Jacoby) Hastings
My name is Mary (Jacoby) Hastings and I am a relative newcomer to the American Red Cross volunteer ranks. I took a leap of faith when I left my job of 15 years in April 2012 to follow my heart and take a new path to make a difference in the lives of others.

As part of that process, I am writing a book, Giving Veterans a Voice, which involves conducting hours of interviews with veterans nationwide from every modern day conflict.

Further, I am an 18-year resident and local community volunteer in Conifer, Colorado with a firsthand understanding of the impacts wildfires have on communities and the value of the American Red Cross during disasters.

My work with veterans led me to connect with Service to Armed Forces (SAF) Regional Manager Tim Bothe as an introduction to the Veterans History Project for the American Folk Life Center of the Library of Congress. I record firsthand accounts for the historical archives. I also assist SAF during pre-and post-deployment events introducing American Red Cross programs to the National Guard and Reservists and their families. Further I am training to be a SAF caseworker and I help at other SAF-related functions when needed.

I also volunteer on the Public Affairs team assisting Regional Communications Director Patricia Billinger with media during and after disasters as needed. This role involves being on-call for a three-day period to provide public information about our Red Cross response when disaster strikes in the Metro Denver area, including the foothills.

I started my company, All Write Imagineering, in 2011 and established a web presence in 2012 at to provide writing and editing services. My background includes fulfilling my dream of working at Walt Disney World armed with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication from Miami University in Oxford Ohio; helping to launch the 9Who Care and 9Health Fair at Denver’s KUSA Channel 9; teaching at the University of Virginia while earning my Master of Arts degree in Rhetoric and Communication Studies; serving as a state press secretary and liaison to The White House; working as a corporate national sales training manager; covering news and events as a newspaper reporter, photographer, columnist and editor. My most significant life achievement to-date was being able to somehow squeeze in a few years between high-profile jobs to open a licensed daycare so that I could be a stay-at-home mom.

Please watch for my future SAF blogs!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hurricane App has Handy Info for Travelers, Coloradans with Family in Coastal Areas

With Tropical Storm Isaac on a potential track for Florida, where many people from non-hurricane-prone states may be gathering next week for the Republican National Convention, the new American Red Cross Hurricane App is a free, easy way to put lifesaving information right in the hands of people who live in or are visiting the area.
This free app is the second in a series to be created by the American Red Cross, the nation’s leader in emergency preparedness, for use on both iPhone and Android platforms. It gives instant access to local and real time information on what to do before, during and after hurricanes. Building on the Red Cross leadership in the social media space, the app also includes a number of features that allow people to monitor personalized weather alerts in locations where family and friends reside and share information with others in their social networks who might also need it.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Red Cross Expresses Gratitude to Donors for Support of Disaster, Wildfire Relief

When an outburst of fires threatened communities in numerous locations throughout Colorado in June and early July, the American Red Cross responded immediately to provide shelter, food, comfort, and recovery assistance; almost as immediately, businesses and individuals from throughout Colorado and across the country stepped up to support Red Cross efforts through an outpouring of generosity.

“The Red Cross is able to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies thanks to the hard work of everyday people – your neighbors and friends – who volunteer their time, and thanks to the generosity of donors. When you are an organization that is active at the community level throughout our state and which nationally responds to some 70,000 disasters a year, every dollar counts. So from the depth of my heart, I would like to say ‘thank you’ to every single person who has supported us this summer, whether you gave $10 or $10,000,” said Gino Greco, CEO of the American Red Cross Mile High Region.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Colorado Joins Multi-State "Emergency Kit Cook-Off" Preparedness Campaign

DENVER— In anticipation of National Preparedness Month in September, the American Red Cross encourages Coloradans to join in a fun, friendly, multi-state “Emergency Kit Cook-Off” that will test home cooks’ creativity while educating participants about disaster preparedness.

The Emergency Kit Cook-Off, which was the brainchild of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) and debuted last year, challenges chefs and members of the public to create recipes utilizing ingredients that might be found in a 72-hour emergency kit.

Although Preparedness Month is in September, Emergency Kit Cook-Off activities kick-off tomorrow: Starting Friday, Aug. 17, the public can vote on the ingredients they want to cook with, nominating two items from each of the five categories: protein; fruits and vegetables; starches, grains and nuts; beverages; and comfort foods.

Red Cross, Grainger Partner to Provide Firefighter Comfort Kits

Grand Junction, CO – The American Red Cross partnered with Grainger on Tuesday, Aug. 14, to provide comfort kits to firefighters in western Colorado.

Employees from the Grand Junction Grainger store joined Red Cross volunteers at the Red Cross Western Colorado Chapter headquarters Tuesday to assemble comfort kits containing Chap Stick, eye drops, sunscreen, water and candy for distribution to wild-land firefighters. The Red Cross is able to purchase and distribute the kits thanks to the generous support of the Grainger Family Foundation.

“After a grueling day of fighting fires in extreme situations sometimes the small things make a huge difference in helping these first responders” says Eric Myers, Executive Director of the Red Cross Western Colorado Chapter. “We are very excited that Grainger has provided us this support to get these items into deserving hands.”

During the event on Aug. 14, Grainger branch manager Jack Mowat also presented a check to the American Red Cross.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit, follow us on twitter (@redcrossdenver) or join our blog at

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Xcel Energy raises $113,000 for Red Cross

This summer, Xcel Energy and its employees and customers raised $113,000 for the Mile High Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Through a unique partnership, the company and its customers raised $100,000 for the Red Cross while at the same time reducing electricity use at peak times through Xcel Energy’s Saver’s Switch program.

Additionally, Xcel Energy employees made personal contributions that with the company match will total $113,000 to the American Red Cross.

Xcel Energy makes a $25 donation to the Red Cross for every customer who subscribes to Saver’s Switch, a free program that helps manage short-term spikes in demand for electricity on extremely hot summer days.

“Summer is good time to promote our Saver’s Switch program. It is the second season that Red Cross was a beneficiary of customer sign-ups for the program,” said David Eves, president and CEO of Public Service Co. of Colorado. “This summer, we have more than 7,000 customers to thank for their enrollment and support of Red Cross, the most enrollments ever through this kind of promotion.”

The donations will enable the Red Cross to help Colorado residents prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from disasters in local communities.

“We are so appreciative of Xcel Energy’s commitment to Colorado, especially at a time when so many people are affected by the devastation of wildfires,” said Gino Greco, CEO of the American Red Cross Mile High Region. “Not only have the company and its customers stepped up, but individual Xcel Energy employees gave from their hearts to help their fellow Coloradans. We understand some of the contributions even came from employees in other Xcel Energy states who wanted to help.”

In addition to raising funds to support Red Cross disaster relief in Colorado, Xcel Energy gas crews worked professionally, side-by-side with Colorado Springs utility workers to help restore gas service and re-light customer appliances in the Waldo Canyon area following the Waldo Canyon wildfire.

“At Xcel Energy, we know our business depends on thriving communities and we take that seriously. Our employees contribute not just dollars, but thousands of hours of their time as volunteers,” added David Eves.

In its 2011 Giving Guide The Denver Business Journal has ranked Xcel Energy as the most generous corporate giver in Colorado for the past four years. Visit for more information on Saver’s Switch or Xcel Energy’s community investment.

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Red Cross DAT Responds to Denver Fire

Red Cross DAT responded to an apartment fire on S. Raritan Street in Denver early on 8/13. Four families were displaced. The Red Cross is providing lodging for 2 of the families.

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