Friday, January 20, 2012


Red Cross CenTex Blog Followers,

Due to a recent change in social media strategy at the American Red Cross Central Texas Region, this blog was moved from to Wordpress.

Please check out and follow our new blog at:

See you there!

Friday, January 13, 2012

As the new year gets rolling, many of you know that the Preparedness Health & Safety Services of the American Red Cross have undergone some significant changes.  Due to all these changes, we’re encouraging our instructors & instructor-trainers to take a minute to verify that your certifications are correct in our Learning Management system.

We now have ‘live chat’ among other options for communicating with the brand new Training Support Center.   

If you haven’t completed your update to the new information & program release, remember that while most updates have been extended through March 31, 2012, we encourage you to update as soon as possible.

Thanks for all your patience as we continue to strive to make PHSS systems more efficient and user-friendly.

To receive all important communications, every instructor and instructor trainer should confirm that their Learning Center record is accurate and that their email address is correct. To update and/or confirm, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and select the Health and Safety menu prompt to connect to our Training Support Center.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

What I'm Thankful For

After a nice Thanksgiving break, I wanted to take the time to write about the impact interning for the Central Texas chapter of the American Red Cross has had on me, and how thankful I am to have had this opportunity.

I am thankful for the hands-on experience I have been exposed to through this internship.

I am thankful for my supervisor and the rest of the Red Cross staff members that have welcomed me into their Red Cross family and have helped me learn the ins and outs of the organization.

I am thankful for all the generous volunteers and donors who are the reason why the American Red Cross is able to do so much and that I have had the opportunity to see this generosity make a difference in our community.

I am thankful for being a part of the Central Texas chapter and how being a part of this great organization reminds me how great it feels to give back.

What are you thankful this holiday season? 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

More Thanksgving Safety Tips

Thanksgiving brings family and friends together to share a good meal, laughter and football. However, it can also bring unexpected health hazards like food poisoning and choking.

Food Poisoning
Eating undercooked turkey can be a health hazard. If thawing a turkey at a temperature above 40 degrees Farenheit, salmonella and other bacteria can grow and cause food poisoning. To avoid this 
there are some methods for safe defrosting. The turkey can be thawed in the refrigerator—one day for every 5 lbs. of the bird. The turkey can be submerged in water if it is in leak-proof packaging—30 minutes for every pound. The water should be changed every half hour. It's also safe to defrost a turkey in a microwave. Remove any packaging and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Regardless of what thawing method you use, it is important to cook your turkey right after thawing.

Food poisoning can also happen if leftovers are not stored correctly. Leftovers must be stored two hours after serving. If they are going to be eaten within three days, store in the refrigerator, otherwise store leftovers in the freezer. Make sure to remove the bones from the meat before storing.   

Choking can occur while tasting the Thanksgiving meal you are preparing or while your enjoying your dinner with loved ones. The first step is to call 9-1-1 if loved one is having problems breathing or speaking. Next, we recommend the use of the FIVE-and-FIVE technique. The first step is to give the choking victim five back blows, followed by five abdominal thrusts. Repeat these steps until object is forced out, person can breathe or becomes unconscious. If you are alone you can follow the same technique using your hand or by pressing your abdomen firmly on the back of a chair.

For more Thanksgiving safety tips visit the American Red Cross
Have a fun and safe Thanksgiving! 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Safety First During Holiday Travel

According to a new AAA suvey there is an expected 42.5 million Americans who will be traveling at least 50 miles this Thanksgiving holiday. That is a 4 percent increase from last year and most travelers are expected to use our nation's roadways to reach their destinations.
To arrive safely to your destination, here are a few safety tips to consider before hitting the road:
  • Know when to travel. AAA predicts that 90 percent of travelers will be traveling by road to reach their destination and both Wednesday and Sunday afternoons will be the busiest times on the roads.
  • Make sure your car is in good working order.
  • Start out with a full, check the air pressure in your tires and make sure you have windshield fluid.
  • Get 6-8 hours of sleep the night before. Fatigue decreases awareness and reaction time.
  • Avoid distractions like using your cell phone while driving.
  • Observe speed limits and be mindful of road work and road signs.
  • Make frequent stops.  During long trips, rotate drivers.  If you’re too tired to drive, stop and get some rest.
  • Check road conditions and plan accordingly.
  • If you plan on drinking, designate a driver who won't drink.
It is also recommended that you keep an emergency preparedness kit in your car. Useful items include water, snacks, a flashlight, first aid kit, extra cash and blankets. The Red Cross Deluxe Auto Safety Kit is a great solution to help people prepare for emergencies on the road and is available in the Red Cross Store at

Friday, November 18, 2011

Turkey Fryer Fire Danger

In this YouTube video, State Farm demonstrates the dangers of using a deep fryer if not used correctly. Deep fryers have become a favorite during the holiday season, especially Thanksgiving, because of their quick and tasty result. However, these handy cooking appliances can be dangerous if not used correctly. Here are some safety tips to take into consideration before using your deep fryer this holiday season.

  • Turkey fryers should always be placed outside, away from the home, fences or other structures and combustible materials. Avoid wooden decks.
  • Many deep fryers do not come with a thermostat. This can be dangerous because if left unattended the unit may overheat the oil, so make sure to buy a reliable thermostat.
  • To reduce the chance of tipping, place fryer on a flat surface.
  • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and be careful of marinades before placing it in the pot. Excess water in partially frozen turkeys will cause the pot to overflow, resulting in a fire hazard. The National Turkey Federation recommends 24 hours of thawing for every 5 lbs of bird before cooking in a turkey fryer.
  • Be careful to not overfill your turkey fryer with oil. To determine the correct amount of oil for your fryer, put the actual turkey you will be frying into the basket and then into the empty pot. Add enough water to cover the turkey by about two inches. Take out the turkey and measure how much water is in the pot. That is how much oil you will need.
  • Make sure there is a fire extinguisher close by. Never use water to put out a grease fire.
  • There are no insulated handles on deep fryers and lid and handles become very hot and can cause severe burns. Cover your hands by wearing leather gloves and wear protective eyewear if possible.
Visit here for more Thanksgiving safety tips.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Help Support Fire Victims this Holiday Season

A sudden house fire can leave a family without shelter and their essential day to day necessities and can be a devastating time for them. Therefore, it is important for us to be prepared to provide families with essentials that they may need after a house fire.

With the holiday season here, the American Red Cross offers a great way of helping house fire victims get back on their feet through the annual Holiday Giving Catalog. The Holiday Giving Catalog gives you the opportunity chose exactly what your donations will be going to. Whether you would like to support a family with shelter and food for a day or blankets after a fire, there are plenty of ways to help.

For the complete Holiday Giving Catalog please visit the American Red Cross.