Red Cross Media Alerts
The American Red Cross will be closed Monday in observance of Presidents' Day.
In addition, Ike Pigott will be out of the state in training, and will not be in position to assist local media.
Jean Petties, Director of Community Relations, will be the primary contact for the week. Her information is listed to the right.
Ike returns on Monday, February 27th.
Arson takes a toll on the community
With several high-profile apartment fires this season, volunteers from the Birmingham Area Chapter have assisted nearly 50% more individuals than in the previous year. While there has been an increase across the board in “single-family” house fires, the multi-unit structures have added a lot of publicity and attention.
Now that many of the recent apartment fires have been linked as arson, the American Red Cross has calculated just a part of the impact criminal activity has had on disaster relief. Counting just six incidents (four apartments and two homes), the cost to our donors in direct assistance alone is over $35,000.
“That does not begin to include the value of the volunteer and staff hours involved, nor does it count the strain on our United Way partner agencies and other non-profits that lend additional support and assistance,” said Chapter Executive Billy Baxter. “Most importantly, it pales in comparison to the losses incurred by those individual clients – many of whom can never truly replace what they lost.”
The American Red Cross is committed to providing emergency assistance to victims of disaster, whether natural or man-made. Intentional acts like these fires divert our resources away from prevention, community preparedness, and our capacity to respond to the truly unavoidable disasters.
(apologies for the delay...)
Volunteers from the Birmingham Area Chapter did provide on-scene emergency assistance to around 20 people at the Panorama East Apartments in Pinson Valley.
Our initial estimates show that 10 units were affected, at least eight of those a total loss. We provided clothing kits, snacks, and drinks to those who were there -- and made sure that all of the tenants had a place to stay for the night.
All of the families were given our service center number and location, and are expected to come in throughout the day to complete their casework for the rest of the assistance for which they are eligible.
Audio with Ike Pigott, Public Affairs Officer
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if you use it on air.
Wood Gardens audio update
Community Relations Director, Jean Petties
Wood Gardens UPDATE
The Red Cross has opened 18 family assistance cases at Wood Gardens Apartments -- two additional families will see us Thursday for casework at their request.
That's a total of 20 families/households affected.
We're providing meals through tonight, and possibly tomorrow morning for breakfast if necessary.
Wood Gardens has enough vacant units to absorb ALL of the affected tenants, if they choose to stay. Most will be moving in as soon as this afternoon.
Ike is headed out of town for the rest of the week, for disaster
Jean Petties will be the primary contact in the interim -- her contact
information is always accessible at the right side of the page.
Sr. Director, Community Relations
Wood Gardens Fire update
Red Cross volunteers and staff are at Wood Gardens Apartments in Hoover, providing casework and assistance for families with emergencies caused by this morning's fire. We've been serving meals to the affected residents throughout the morning, and plan on continuing that support through tomorrow morning.
So far, we've opened assistance cases on at least 10 households -- but do not have a clear idea about how many will need a place to stay. Some may choose to stay with local relatives or friends, and we don't yet know if Wood Gardens has vacant units available for the remainder.
Apartment Fire response - AUDIO
(Right click to download...)
(Please send me an e-mail letting me know if you used part of this clip.)
Apartment Fire response
The Birmingham Area Chapter is responding to a number of early morning fires. Here's a rundown of what we know:
The fire in Ensley directly affected two houses along Avenue E in Ensley, and indirectly affected a neighboring apartment building. (One of the two houses was abandoned.) The apartments were without power while the fire department was actively engaged. Our on-scene response overnight delivered food and clothing kits to all of the people put out in the cold, and provided temporary shelter to those families that had nowhere else to go. Residents who were directly affected by the fire will be able to get follow-up casework and assistance at one of our service centers.
As this response was winding down, we were called in by Hoover Fire to assist people at Wood Gardens Apartments, off Rocky Ridge Ranch Road. Those displaced by this fire are seeking temporary shelter in the clubhouse, and Red Cross workers are there providing food and clothing packs to those who had to leave. This initial assistance will be supplemented with additional casework as needed on a client-by-client basis.
Welcome to Red Cross Media Alerts
This is a public website, designed to allow Red Cross staff to push information as quickly as possible during emergencies and disasters.
This page will maintain a running log of all alerts, updates, and advisories. The text will remain simple and stripped of code, to allow for "cut-and-paste" when needed. As needed, you will also see audio files you may use as you see fit for broadcast. (Eventually, we'll have downloadable headshots available for graphics and art.)
On the right, you'll find links to the local and national Red Cross websites, as well as a local contact menu. We'll do our best to designate who is on call or unavailable at a given time.
If you have any suggestions, please feel free to pass them on. Consider this a public resource, and use it often.