Carisa Hettich, Executive Director of the Southwest Oregon Red Cross Chapter, provided a general overview of the Red Cross’ five lines of service as well as two newer programs called Prepare Out Loud (about the Cascadia Subduction Zone) and the Home Fire Campaign (installing free smoke detectors). They’ve reached over 5,000 with their Prepare Out Loud and recently installed 10,000 smoke alarms in our Region since starting this program two years ago!

Red Cross Facts:

  • Collect 40% of the nation’s blood supply.
  • Deployed for disasters all over the country including potential disasters like recent evacuations in California due to threat of floods.
  • This year is the Red Cross’ Centennial date in Oregon.
  • Second most trusted brand next to public libraries.
  • Mission is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
  • Predominantly volunteers are sent (over 100 to one staff person) when emergencies happen.
  • Types of disasters the Red Cross in our area has assisted with include wildfire, winter storm, house fire, power outage, earthquake, tsunami, tornado, volcano, flood, transportation accident, haz-mat spill, terrorism, active shooter incident (UCC), and railroad accident.
  • Earthquake Insurance is super important for our area.
  • If every person donated blood 2 times/year, we would have no shortages. Most blood comes from high school and college kids.
  • Every two seconds, someone in the US needs blood. Every donation can save up to three lives.

Home Fire Campaign:

  • #1 disaster is single family house disasters.
  • The Home Fire Campaign is designed to provide and install free smoke detectors in homes.
  • When there is a fire, the Red Cross shows up at the doorstep in order to help with temporary shelter, clothing, and food until insurance can take over (or in the case of no insurance.
  • Additional things you can do to prepare include:
    • purchasing a fireproof box for important documents.
    • take photos of everything you own and download/store in a separate location.
  • Call 503-528-5783 or email for a free smoke alarm installation.
  • Rotarians are welcome to sign up to help install smoke detectors on a Saturday.
  • So far there is 160 saved lives across the country. 11,000 alarms in OR have already been installed.

Prepare Out Loud Campaign:

  • Designed to educate people on the threat and what they can do to prepare to be self-sufficient after a major disaster.
  • May 2 at North Eugene from 6-7:30, there will be a talk on the Cascadia Earthquake and preparedness.
  • The prediction if we get a major earthquake, power won’t be restored for 2 months or more and hospitals won’t be back to full capacity until 2 years or more.
  • There is only 1 EMT for every 374 people under normal circumstances.
  • 2 week-30 day food supply is recommended.
  • 3 gallons of water per person per day for hygiene plus consuming and cooking
  • Types of kits to have include home, work, car, bedside, and a hiking pack. Have several kits of different sizes everywhere you live your life.
  • We are overdue for a major earthquake:

Click here to visit the Southwest Oregon Chapter Website.

Click here for the Resource Guide handed out today.