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Red Cross Preparing for Possibility of More Severe H1N1 Flu Outbreak

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  • Red Cross Preparing for Possibility of More Severe H1N1 Flu Outbreak

    Friday, July 10, 2009 ? In April 2009 an outbreak of human cases of H1N1 flu was discovered in North America. By mid-June, the World Health Organization had raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 6, indicating a global pandemic was underway. More than 70 countries are now reporting cases of human infection.
    In the United States, most people who have become ill with H1N1 have recovered without requiring medical treatment. However, according to the CDC, this virus could cause significant illness with associated hospitalizations and deaths in the fall and winter during the U.S. influenza season.
    While nobody can be certain of what will happen this fall, the America Red Cross, along with government agencies and partner health organizations, are planning and preparing for the possibility of an increased spread in the H1N1 flu.
    This past week, President Obama's cabinet held a H1N1 Flu Preparedness Summit to prepare for the possibility of a more severe outbreak of H1N1 flu. Joe Becker, American Red Cross Senior Vice President of Disaster Services was in attendance, along with government officials, health and emergency preparedness professionals, policy makers, and business leaders.
    According to Sharon Stanley, Red Cross Chief Nurse, ?It?s important to remember that the Red Cross partners at every level of pandemic planning and response, from the field at the local level, clear up through the White House like the event this week. This gives us the ability as the Red Cross response operation to have a working knowledge in order to take care of our communities in a pandemic environment.?
    In addition to coordinating and planning with government and partners, the Red Cross is taking other steps to prepare. They include:The Red Cross is also ramping up plans to provide specific services. To this end, the Red Cross will tailor it?s response from community to community depending on the needs of that specific area. During a flu pandemic, the Red Cross will:
    • Continue to respond to disasters of all types and sizes.
    • Provide educational materials and logistical support alongside local health partners.
    • Educate the public and disseminate information from the CDC, and state and local public health agencies.
    • Ensure a safe blood supply.
    At this time, the American Red Cross continues to monitor the current H1N1 outbreak. The most important action the public can take now to reduce the spread of the H1N1 virus is to practice healthy hygiene habits.

    About the American Red Cross:
    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization ? not a government agency ? and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

  • #2
    Re: Red Cross Preparing for Possibility of More Severe H1N1 Flu Outbreak

    Published: July 06, 2009 06:38 pm

    Local Red Cross Disaster Action Team develops plan

    The Anderson County Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) participated in a teleconference with the Red Cross Heart of Texas Chapter to develop action plans for the upcoming hurricane season.

    This year, the Red Cross is not only preparing for a ?typical? hurricane evacuation, but also adding the possibility that some of the evacuees coming to our shelters might be infected with the Novel H1N1 (swine) flu.

    Team members including Ken Bratz, Bob Dyer, Hugh Summers, Sherry Landers and James Parker provided input to assist in a plan that would provide for the safety of evacuees, shelter volunteers, agency personnel, vendors and Red Cross team members.

    It was noted during this area chapter meeting of the outstanding job preformed by the shelter volunteers, local agencies and the DAT team members of Anderson County during Hurricane Ike.

    ?Anderson County?s agencies and individuals are well known for their ability to work together in times of emergencies and this planning session is just another indication of how we are proactive in preparing for the future,? said Ken Bratz, disaster area coordinator.


    • #3
      Re: Red Cross Preparing for Possibility of More Severe H1N1 Flu Outbreak

      Press Release

      WASHINGTON, July 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross, will speak at a National Press Club luncheon on Tuesday, July 21, to discuss navigating non-profits through turbulent economic times.

      McGovern will explain the challenges of operating the nation's largest NGO and non-profit agency through this difficult economy -- a time when needs continue to increase and the non-profit sector is being asked by governments at all levels to play a greater role. McGovern will also discuss how the organization is preparing for the upcoming hurricane season, as well as the prospect of a return of the H1N1 virus this fall.

      On the job for just over one year, McGovern came to the Red Cross after excelling in management positions at AT&T and Fidelity Investments. She joined the faculty of Harvard Business School in 2002.

      The National Press Club luncheon will begin promptly at 12:30 p.m. and McGovern's remarks will begin just after 1:00 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session. Advance reservations should be made by contacting reservations at the National Press Club, (202) 662-7501 or Cost of luncheon admission is $17 for National Press Club members, $28 for their guests and $35 for general admission.

      Credentialed press may cover this event with proper ID.

      The National Press Club is located at 14th and F Streets, NW, one block west of Metro Center. For more information about the Club and its programs is go to