Red Cross aids nearly 800 in Missouri during July

Nationally an average of six people a day die in house fires with nearly 2,500 people killed in 2012. And just during the month of July in the state of Missouri, nearly 800 people received help from the American Red Cross following a fire. The Red Cross is campaigning to help families take action to reduce the risk and impact of fires.

smoke alarmThe three service regions (Kansas City, St. Louis, and Southern Missouri) of the American Red Cross in Missouri helped hundreds of people as part of this effort. There were at least 176 children under the age of 18, including at least 11 infants. At least 33 of those assisted were age 60 or older. The total in disaster assistance was more than $70,000 and volunteers provided hundreds of hours to aid their neighbors as they were called upon almost daily.

The Southern Missouri Region is partnering with local Fire Departments and other community members to promote the use of smoke alarms as part of the “Home Fire Preparedness Campaign” during the month of October.

“We will be supporting this national effort on a local level” said Terra Jeffres, Regional Preparedness & Recovery Manager in Southern Missouri. “As part of a focused effort we will be looking specifically at ways to have a positive impact in at-risk areas of the communities we serve.”

As part of this strategic campaign, a list of the top 10 fire risk zip codes in southern Missouri from a five year time frame, 2008 to 2013, will be the initial focus.

65802 (Springfield) 46 deaths and injuries; 63901 (Poplar Bluff) 29 deaths and injuries; 64804 (Joplin) 21 deaths and injuries; 65803 (Springfield) 17 deaths and injuries; 63857 (Kennett) 11 deaths and injuries; 65807 (Springfield) 10 deaths and injuries; 64744 (El Dorado Springs) 10 deaths and injuries; 64801 (Joplin) 8 deaths and injuries; 65806 (Springfield) 8 deaths and injuries; 63801 (Sikeston) 8 deaths and injuries.

Sixty-five percent of home fire deaths occur in structures with no working smoke alarms. On a national average, Red Cross workers help a family affected by a home fire or other disaster 190 times a day.

The people affected are provided a place to stay, money for clothes, food and medicine. Along with providing casework for the residents in a quick and efficient time frame, Red Cross volunteers will continue to provide support to these families going forward, by doing follow up work to ensure all needs are met and the individuals have a clear path to recovery from this personal disaster.

To find out more about the Home Fire Prevention Campaign and how you can get involved, please contact Terra Jeffres 417-832-9500 extn 3112 or by email, terra.jeffres@redcross.org

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