Earthquake in Chile

Here’s the low-down from our International Guru at Headquarters.  The second video is in Spanish.

Germs are Bad Rappers.

Have you noticed that something seems to be going around Santa Cruz County?  2 of my neighbors are sick, at least 2 of our regular volunteers, and this very AM, I woke up with that particular sensation in the back of my throat that says, “You’re gonna wish you were in bed ALL DAY.”

There’s been some pretty big talk about the flu this year.  So much so, that you’re probably reading this blog post and thinking, “Not AGAIN!”

Still, it’s always a good idea to follow a few simple rules to keep yourself healthy… and if you aren’t healthy, to keep others around you from picking up what you’re putting down (if you know what I mean).  You can check out some tips here: Red Cross Flu Checklist (PDF).

Or, you can take the hint from an old Red Cross friend, Scrubby Bear.  We still offer this program, but thankfully, since this video… there have been some updates.

How to give love this Valentine’s Day… even without a date.

Excited for Valentine’s Day…or not so excited for Valentine’s Day?

This will be your blogmaster’s first Valentine’s Day alone in 8 years (can I get an “Awww…”?).  But it’s ok.  There are some amazing things going on this Valentine’s Day weekend.  Grab your date (or don’t – no date required!) for one of these great events, and do something amazing for your community and the victims of the Earthquake in Haiti.

Did I mention these are No Date Required events?  If you’ve got some love to give this Valentine’s Day, don’t sit home and sulk.  Do something good for others – and have some fun at the same time.

Friday, February 12, 7 PM:

Concert for Haiti at First Congregational Church (900 High Street, Santa Cruz)

Cover: $10.00 or more (donation)

Performing: Robert Haven & Ben Cole, Franklin Marshall Band, David Beaudry, Kevin Robinson, Keith Taylor & More!

Saturday, February 13, 10 AM – 3 PM:

Santa Cruz Love Project @ Rebecca Stark Photography, 2027 N. Pacific Avenue Suite A, Santa Cruz

Rebecca will be taking headshots and Valentine’s Day inspired portraits for a donation, split 50/50 with our local chapter and the Haiti Relief Fund.  No one to hold hands with? Pets and Strong “don’t need nobody” types (like yours truly) also welcome!

Sunday, February 14, 10 AM:

The Last Resort Cut-A-Thon, 2-1245 E. Cliff Street in Santa Cruz and 5024 Soquel Drive in Soquel

The Last Resort Salon will be having a “Cut-a-Thon” to support the American Red Cross, Santa Cruz County Chapter as well as the relief effort in Haiti.  Stylists have donated their time, and all profit for the day will go to the Red Cross.

Sunday, February 14, 5-9 PM

Almost Chaos, Jackie Rocks Band and Rapid Fire @ Coasters Lounge (Inside the Boardwalk Bowl), 115 Cliff Street, Santa Cruz

Local, award-winning, teenage bands Almost Chaos, Rapid Fire and Jackie Rocks Band will be perform at this all-ages show. Cover is $5.00.

There will be a raffle during the concert with 100% of the profits to benefit the American Red Cross.  Raffle sponsors include Pacific Coast Manor, Santa Cruz Skate Shop, Baby Bloomers and Dominican Hospital.

Wednesday, February 17, 4 PM – ?:

Acapulco Restaurant Haiti Relief Night, 1116 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz

Can’t drag yourself out of your lonely heart funk (or love nest) and make it to an event this weekend?  You can still help at Acapulco’s Haiti Relief Night. 25% of receipts for the night will go to Haiti Relief.  In addition, servers will be donating the night’s tips.

The restaurant usually closes at 9:30 PM, however, if they are busy they will remain open.

Haiti Earthquake Update, February 4, 2010

For an up to the minute, straight from the horse’s mouth update on Haiti, visit:

http://www.ifrc.org/what/disasters/response/haiti/index.asp

For those of you who don’t know, the American Red Cross is just a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies.  Not in recent history have so many societies from all over the world come together on a relief mission.

The IFRC has put together this (very cool) Google Earth map with current relief activities (requires you to download Google Earth): http://www.ifrc.org/what/disasters/response/haiti/RCRC-activities-in-Haiti_28Jan.kmz

Santa Cruz Love Project

Everybody likes to get something back.  Usually when you donate, you get that warm fuzzy feeling.  How about that warm, fuzzy feeling plus some world class photos of you and your main squeeze?

Santa Cruz local and photographer Rebecca Stark has invited the American Red Cross, Santa Cruz County Chapter to partner with her for her first (quite possibly annual) Santa Cruz Love Project.  On Saturday, February 13, Rebecca will be taking headshots and Valentine’s Day inspired portraits for a donation, split 50/50 with our local chapter and the Haiti Relief Fund.

No sweetheart?  Pets are also welcome.

Check out Rebecca’s blog for more info: http://rebeccastark.blogspot.com/2010/01/santa-cruz-love-project.html

$5 can buy Hope.

Everyone knows money can’t buy you love… but did you know that you can buy a big barrel of hope for only $5.00?

When you give that $5.00 to the American Red Cross, Santa Cruz County Chapter, it’s true.

Just $5.00 can provide bedding for a family at a Red Cross Shelter, or blankets to the victims of a home fire.  If you give only $10.00, you provide a day’s worth of meals to a disaster victim.  Pretty slick, eh?  Any donation to the Red Cross assures that we’ll be there when the community needs us, providing services that help rebuild lives.

Helping the Red Cross in its humanitarian mission is as easy as giving up 1 trip to the coffee shop.  Or, using a coupon the next time you order a pizza.  Or, finding that random $5.00 bill that went through the wash in the pocket of your jeans (I LOVE when that happens).

As always, you can send your donation or come in to 2960 Soquel Avenue in Santa Cruz, visit our website at www.sccredcross.org, or give us a call at 831-462-2881 to make your donation.  We also have some awesome community partners that have agreed to take donations on our behalf!  Check out the following locations, and drop some hope in the bucket:

TONY AND ALBA’S PIZZA

PIZZA ONE

LIVE OAK FARMER’S MARKET

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY BANK

LULU CARPENTER’S COFFEE HOUSES

ANGEL SWEETS

PALO ALTO MEDICAL FOUNDATION

SC41 FURNITURE

SAVEMART

STAR BENE RESTAURANT

CHAMINADE RESORT AND SPA

Flood Preparedness, Sandbag Locations

The storms traveling through Santa Cruz County are expected to be even stronger tomorrow.  Flooding is already causing some problems on local roads.  Here are some tips in case the water levels rise.

Click here for Sandbag Locations in Santa Cruz County

Flood and Flash Flood

Know What to Expect

  • Know your area’s flood risk–if unsure, call your local Red Cross chapter, emergency management office, or planning and zoning department.
  • If it has been raining hard for several hours, or steadily raining for several days, be alert to the possibility of a flood.
  • Listen to local radio or TV stations for flood information.

Reduce Potential Flood Damage By . . .

  • Raising your furnace, water heater, and electric panel if they are in areas of your home that may be flooded.
  • Consult with a professional for further information if this and other damage reduction measures can be taken.

Floods Can Take Several Hours to Days to Develop

  • A flood WATCH means a flood is possible in your area.
  • A flood WARNING means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.

Flash Floods Can Take Only a Few Minutes to a Few Hours to Develop

  • A flash flood WATCH means flash flooding is possible in your area.
  • A flash flood WARNING means a flash flood is occurring or will occur very soon.

Prepare a Family Disaster Plan

  • Check to see if you have insurance that covers flooding. If not, find out how to get flood insurance.
  • Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe-deposit box.

Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit Containing . . .

  • First aid kit and essential medications.
  • Canned food and can opener.
  • At least three gallons of water per person
  • Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags.
  • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
  • Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members.
  • Written instructions for how to turn off electricity, gas and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you’ll need a professional to turn them back on.)
  • Identify where you could go if told to evacuate. Choose several places . . . a friend’s home in another town, a motel, or a shelter.

When a Flood WATCH Is Issued . . .

  • Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.

When a Flood WARNING Is Issued . . .

  • Listen to local radio and TV stations for information and advice. If told to evacuate, do so as soon as possible.

When a Flash Flood WATCH Is Issued . . .

  • Be alert to signs of flash flooding and be ready to evacuate on a moment’s notice.

When a Flash Flood WARNING Is Issued . . .

  • Or if you think it has already started, evacuate immediately. You may have only seconds to escape. Act quickly!
  • Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks, and storm drains. Do not drive around barricades . . . they are there for your safety.
  • If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.
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