Thanksgiving Tips To Be Thankful For

If your family is anything like mine, then you know that Thanksgiving can be a perfect storm of disasters waiting to happen. Take a bunch of loud family members, add a deep fryer, and sprinkle in a few kids and pets, and it’s a recipe for holiday chaos!

It’s no secret that cooking fires are the most common cause of home fires and fire injuries, and Thanksgiving is a time when you are more likely to be distracted while preparing a meal. According to the National Fire Protection Association, Thanksgiving Day 2013 was the leading date for home cooking fires with 1,550, 230% above the daily average. That’s why your Red Cross has a few tips to make sure all family and food make it safely to the table:

  1. Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease build up. Never pour water on a grease fire. Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen.Thanksgiving1
  2. Keep children and pets away from the cooking area. Make sure children are at least three feet away from cooking areas. White meat turkey can be safe for your pet, but make sure to remove any excess skin or fat, and make sure there are no bones.
  3. Never leave cooking food unattended. If you’re simmering, baking, roasting or broiling food, check on it regularly.
  4. Keep flammable items away from cooking surfaces. This includes oven mitts, towels, or food packaging.
  5. Download the Red Cross Emergency App. Get more safety and first aid info at your fingertips. Test your disaster knowledge with fun quizzes and set up customized weather alerts.

Most of all, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday from your friends at the Red Cross!

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Jessica Piffero
Regional Director of Communications

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Honor Veterans by Supporting Your Local Red Cross

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This Veteran’s Day, take a moment to serve those who serve our country by supporting a local charity like the Red Cross. Service to the Armed Forces is one the organization’s least known services, and yet one of the oldest Red Cross traditions. Everyone knows the Red Cross for large disasters like wildfires and earthquakes, but many may not realize the important role that Red Cross volunteers play every day to support the military.

The mission of the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces program is to provide humanitarian support to military members, veterans, and their families around the clock and around the globe. The Red Cross even provides more blood to veterans than any other organization in the country.

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Logan Weaver, 1992

Another one of the many services that Red Cross volunteers provide is emergency communications between families and service members. In the last year alone, the Red Cross Central California Region connected 746 local military families to service members through emergency communications. Local Red Cross volunteer and 20 year Navy veteran Logan Weaver knows about these Red Cross services first-hand.

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Logan and his Dad, 2000

When his father had his first heart attack in 2000, Logan was on a Navy ship off the coast of San Diego heading to Hawaii. That’s when he received the official Red Cross emergency message that his father was seriously ill. Within hours, he was on a helicopter headed home to see his dad.

“The ship that I’m on, at the time, does not stop and turn around,” said Logan, “Had I not been able to get that helo, I probably would’ve had to wait 10-12 days to cross the Pacific and get to the Hawaiian Islands. Without the Red Cross message, I wouldn’t have been able to get that helo ride out. The Red Cross trumps everything. It’s a crucial portion of going on emergency leave. It’s like the golden ticket!”

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Logan Weaver receiving an award on the USS La Salle, 1991

That was one of five Red Cross emergency messages Logan would eventually receive over his 20 year career in the US Navy. Now, as a veteran, Logan feels that he has the opportunity to give back to the organization that provided him so much support in his time of need. As an Armed Forces volunteer and Disaster responder, Logan provides moral support for service members returning from or leaving for deployment and helps the Red Cross set up shelters in times of disaster.

“I find that the Red Cross is a blessing to me,” said Logan, “I’m able to give back, and I’m able to pay forward all at the same time.”

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Logan Weaver, proud Red Cross volunteer

So this Veteran’s Day, consider supporting a local charity like the Red Cross. Whether it’s through volunteering like Logan, donating blood, or by giving a financial donation, your generosity allows the Red Cross to provide vital services to service members and their families right here in Central California.

Jessica Piffero,
Regional Communications Director