Tag Archives: American Red Cross

12 Tips for Safe Global Travel

Now that summer is in full swing, many are heading abroad for annual vacations. While planning the perfect global getaway can be daunting, it is equally as important to stay safe while traveling internationally as it is to score a great deal on a hotel stay.

The American Red Cross has put together twelve important tips for traveling abroad that we’re happy to share.

  • Download the first aid app. The American Red Cross first aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand. Whether you’re in the United States or abroad, arming yourself with basic first aid skills can save a life. Be sure to download the app while you’re still in the United States, otherwise, you’ll download the local Red Cross or Red Crescent’s mobile app (which will be in the local language).
  • Make a plan. Just like at home, it’s important to establish a time and place to meet family members in case you get separated.   
  • Know what natural disasters are possible. There’s no reason to panic, but it’s important to research whether your destination faces emergencies you’ve never experienced. While you’ll need to gauge the local context, the Red Cross offers basic tips about what to do during natural disasters like tsunamis, volcanoes, and hurricanes.
  • Register your trip with the State Department. Enter your travel details with the free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program online, which allows the State Department to better assist you in case of an emergency while you are abroad. You can also get information about safety conditions in the country you are planning to visit.
  • Write down contact details for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to carry with you in case of emergency while traveling.
  • Check out the State Department’s What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis‘ and have an evacuation plan that doesn’t rely on the U.S. government.
  • Keep your destination country’s emergency numbers handy. You know to use 911 in the United States, but how will you reach the fire department, police, or an ambulance abroad? Find your destination country on this reference sheet from the State Department—and write down the emergency numbers before you take off.
  • Know the six-month passport rule. Some countries deny travelers entry if their passport expires in less than six months. Renew your passport about nine months before the expiration date.
  • Let your credit card company know what countries you will be visiting and when. This way, they won’t think your card is stolen and shut it off just when you need it the most.
  • Pack your International Certificate of Vaccination. Also referred to as the “yellow card,” it lists your immunizations, allergies, and blood type. The “yellow card” is available from your physician or local health department.
  • Bring medications, bug repellent. If you’re traveling somewhere with mosquito-borne illnesses—such as malaria, dengue, or Zika—be sure to spray repellent and/or cover your arms and legs with lightweight clothing at critical times of the day. Don’t forget your medications and it’s a good idea to bring other stuff like OTC pain reliever and something for an upset stomach.
  • Check for emergency exits and evacuation routes. The American Red Cross has helped many communities around the world install signs that indicate evacuation routes in case flooding or another natural disaster occurs. Be sure to identify evacuation routes at your destination and, as always, pay attention to the location of emergency exits.

Help Us Give $2500 to Charity

State Farm along with Major League Baseball recently launched — for the third year in a row —  the Go to Bat program, an online charitable giving initiative benefitting four great charities – the American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Habitat for Humanity or Teach for America.

For 10 weeks baseball fans can go to www.statefarm.com/gotobat and vote for their favorite of the four aforementioned charities. Each week one fan will win a trip to the World Series and the charity they go to bat for will receive $18,000.

State Farm recently gave us a $5,000 grant to give to American Red CrossBoys & Girls Clubs of AmericaHabitat for Humanity or Teach for America. $2500 will  be given to one of the charities of my choice and $2500 will go to the charity that all of you choose.

Now through next Thursday, August 3, Please vote for one of the charities below you would like to receive $2500 from Mom Bloggers for Social Good.

Next Friday, August 3, I will announce the charity I am giving $2500 to as well as the charity that receives the most votes from the Mom Bloggers for Social Good community. You can vote once.

Thank you for helping us make a difference for amazing charities that are helping those in need! Vote below!

Vaccine Effectiveness – 1980 Through Today

In listening to a talk last week in Atlanta given by Dr. Jacob Kumaresan, the Executive Director, WHO Office at the United Nations in New York, I learned a fascinating statistic about vaccine effectiveness.

In 1980 before the mass roll-out of vaccines there was one child death per second from deadly, yet preventable diseases like pneumonia, rotavirus, and measles. By 2000 the death rate was one death per minute. By 2010 the death rate was one death every four minutes. That shows progress, but the number of child deaths is still too high. By 2015 the United Nations has called for a reduction of child deaths by 2/3. Recent data by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund shows that MDG #4 (Child health) likely will not be reached, but that does not mean progress should slow.

One of the highest priorities in the global health community is to vaccinate children. In fact, it is one of the best global health buys to keep children alive.

“Immunizations have the power to save lives and transform lives,” said Kumaresan. “We can give the opportunity for a child to be healthy and grow without diseases.”

According to Kumaresan in 2010 109 million children were vaccinated with the DPT vaccine that fights against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus. 19.3 million children did not receive the vaccines and 70% of those children live in 10 developing countries.

The ultimate goal of global health agencies is to increase the vaccination rate to 90% worldwide in order eradicate these preventable diseases. In the developing world, however, there are challenges intrinsic to immunizing children. Many people live in informal settlements (slums) and in war-torn areas making vaccinations in this areas difficult.

Since 2010 the GAVI Alliance has supported the immunization of 3.6 million children with the pneumococcal vaccine. Pneumonia is the leading cause of death for children under the age of five. GAVI’s mission is to save children’s lives in poor countries through immunization.

The Measles & Rubella Initiative

Five key partners make up the Measles Rubella Initiative including the American Red Cross, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United Nations Children’s Fund, United Nations Foundation and World Health Organization. These partners have set a strategic plan to reduce measles and rubella to zero by 2020 in at least five WHO regions. According to WHO the plan will be implemented through:

  • high vaccination coverage;
  • monitoring spread of disease using laboratory-backed surveillance;
  • outbreak preparedness and response and measles case management;
  • communication and community engagement; and
  • research and development.

The goal is within reach. In fact sub-Saharan Africa made saw a significant 85% drop in measles deaths between 2000 and 2010 due to vaccinations.

“It’s a moral imperative in today’s world,” said Kumeresan. “Every child should be reached. We need to make vaccines accessible and affordable to the people who need it.”