Thursday, June 27, 2019

Red Cross Shares Winter Fire Safety Tips

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Heating fires peak during December, January and February.

red cross webAs temperatures drop, the American Red Cross reminds people that heating is the second leading cause of home fires, deaths and injuries in the United States, and December, January and February are the peak months for heating fires.

The American Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters year - one every eight minutes - and most of them are home fires. Home fires can happen quickly - devastating lives and property. But unlike other disasters, most home fires can be prevented. Fire experts agree that people may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out.

“The Red Cross recommends two easy steps to help protect your home and to increase your chances of surviving a fire: create and practice a fire escape plan, and install and maintain smoke alarms,” said Rachelle Lipker, executive director of the American Red Cross Central & Western Nebraska.

Home fire plans should include at least two ways to escape from every room of your home.

Select a meeting spot at a safe distance from your home where family members can meet after a fire. Discuss the plan with everyone in the household and practice it at least twice a year. Make sure that you practice that plan until every member of your household can escape in less than two minutes.

Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms. Test smoke alarms once a month. Change the batteries at least once a year - if your model requires it. Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and practice escaping your home in two minutes or less. Never disable a smoke alarm.

The Red Cross continues to help save lives with our nationwide Home Fire Campaign to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent. The Red Cross works with community partners and local fire departments across the country to install smoke alarms and conduct fire safety education for families in need. Visit to find out more about how to protect yourself, your loved ones and your home from fire.

The Red Cross First Aid App provides life-saving information on what to do for common, everyday first aid emergencies including burns. The app is available in your smartphone’s app store.


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Be a holiday hero – give the gift of life Red Cross urgently needs blood and platelet donations

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (Dec. 17, 2018) — Emergencies don’t take a holiday. The American Red Cross urgently needs blood and platelet donors to make an appointment now to giveand help ensure patients can get the treatment they need at a moment’s notice.
In November 2016, a 100-foot maple tree fell on Mike McMahon, causing life-threatening injuries. He needed 11 units of blood during emergency surgery and another seven units to treat complications after. Six weeks following the accident, McMahon was released from the hospital – just in time to spend the holidays with his family.
“I’m grateful for the donors who gave me such an amazing gift – the gift of life,” said McMahon. “I was an occasional blood donor before the accident. Today, I donate as often as I can to help ensure others receive blood when they need it most.”
Now is an important time to give blood or platelets. A seasonal decline in donations occurs from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day when donors get busy with family gatherings and travel. In addition, severe winter weather can cause blood drive cancellations and negatively affect the blood supply.
Give the gift of life – make an appointment to donate blood and platelets by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Upcoming blood donation opportunities Dec. 20-Jan. 15
Gosper County-Elwood at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 704 Smith Ave., from 12-6 p.m.

Bertrand: Feb dates TBD: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Community Building, 405 Nelson

Holdrege: Feb dates TBD: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Agricultural Center, 1302 2nd Street

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.
For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.


Mid’s Commodity Supplemental Food Program Continues to Make an Impact in Community

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The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) provides services through Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska (Mid) to low-income seniors 60 years of age or older throughout the program’s 27-county service area in South central Nebraska.

This program focuses primarily on increasing access for senior citizens to healthy and nutritious food items such as milk, cheese, hot and cold cereals, juice, vegetables, fruit, meat, peanut butter, dry beans, rice, and pasta. Through funding by the United States Department of Agriculture and other additional funding sources, CSFP provides two month packages of USDA foods to eligible seniors. Throughout its years of operation, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program has come to the aid of many seniors in need of supplemental food and nutrition. “With the help of CSFP,” says one client, “I am now eating a much healthier diet with nutritional foods. Thanks to these foods, my health has improved. I now don’t have to see the doctor as often and I also have extra money to help me out.”

Not only does CSFP improve the health and wellness of its clients through increased food access and improved nutrition, it also helps clients financially by easing the burden of grocery and medical costs due to poor nutrition. In order to be eligible for Mid’s Commodity Supplemental Food Program, participants must be 60 years of age or older living at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL). Guidelines are published annually by the Department of Health and Human Services. If you or anyone you know needs services and are interested in receiving CSFP resources, please call Rae Lynn at 308-865-8683 ext. 2 or visit our website at and we will gladly help you.

Phelps County Farm Service Agency Reminds Producers of Approaching Application Deadline for Market Facilitation Program

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Phelps County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Teresa Chramosta is reminding producers that the deadline to apply for the Market Facilitation Program is Jan. 15, 2019.

The Market Facilitation Program (MFP) was designed to assist farmers in response to foreign market trade disruptions. FSA is administering MFP. The program provides payments to producers of almonds, corn, cotton, dairy, hogs, sorghum, soybeans, fresh sweet cherries and wheat.

Phelps said the application period runs through Jan. 15, 2019; by that date producers must complete part D of the CCC-910 MFP application. Producers have until May 1, 2019, to complete the remainder of the application, which includes certifying their 2018 production totals.

Chramosta said she also wants to remind producers of hogs/dairy that they may be eligible for this program, depending on dates of production and/or ownership of the livestock. Chramosta encouraged producers of hogs/dairy to contact the county office with eligibility questions.

Producers are encouraged to contact the Phelps County FSA office at (308) 995-6121, extension 2, to make an appointment to begin the application process.

There also is an option to print the application, fill it out and then fax, mail or email it. For more details on the Market Facilitation Program and the various options for enrollment, visit