Tag Archives: American Red Cross

Jonathan Benson ~ Red Cross Refuses To Disclose How It Spent Hurricane Sandy Money, Says It’s A ‘Trade Secret’

Withholding financial information from the public, in other words, especially when it involves a major disaster like Hurricane Sandy, demonstrates a disturbing lack of transparency and accountability at the Red Cross.” J Benson

AmericanRedCrossOne of the most well-known charities in the world is being intentionally elusive about how it spent more than $300 million in donations it received following Hurricane Sandy. The independent news group ProPublica says the American Red Cross has repeatedly denied requests to disclose details about how the Sandy money was spent, claiming that this information is a protected “trade secret.”

The Red Cross is so insistent about keeping this information private that it has reportedly hired posh New York law firm Gibson Dunn to fend off anyone who might try to hold the charity responsible for its donation spending. The Red Cross did, according to ProPublica, release some information about Sandy donations to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. But the charity has thus far withheld this information from the public.

“[W]e filed a public records request for the information the Red Cross provided to the attorney general’s office,” wrote Justin Elliott for ProPublica. “An attorney from the firm’s New York office appealed to the attorney general to block disclosure of some of the Sandy information, citing the state Freedom of Information Law’s trade secret exemption.”

In its defense, the Red Cross claims that disclosing this information would breach the “internal and proprietary methodology and procedures” for how it conducts its fundraising activities. Writing on behalf of the charity, Gibson Dunn’s Gabrielle Levin explained in a recent letter to the attorney general’s office that full disclosure would result in confidential financial information getting leaked, as well as other private information about how the Red Cross conducts its everyday business activities.

“[T]he American Red Cross would suffer competitive harm because its competitors would be able to mimic the American Red Cross’s business model for an increased competitive advantage,” added Levin, comparing the work of the Red Cross to a for-profit business.

Is the Red Cross a charity or a business?

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Tess Pennington ~ 10 Essential Skills Necessary For Survival

Ready Nutrition February 22 2013

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Although it is important to be prepared for disaster situations, many are not adequately trained to handle the disaster situations in which they find themselves in. Having the proper skills and training will provide an individual with a well diversified knowledge base on how to survive during and after a disaster.

Medical Training

In a survival situation, medical training is going to be a big one.  Due to the increase use of saws, axes and knives, there will be more medical emergencies involving deep lacerated cuts.  Knowing how to properly clean wounds, stitch wounds, as well as knowing how to treat infected wounds will be extremely important.  Additionally, there will be an increase in burns from being in closer contact to fires.  Burns can get infected very quickly, and knowing how to decipher the degree of the burn is and how to treat it will be a concern amongst survivalists and preppers.  Typically, there are online courses offered for basic CPR/First Aid, however, those basic skills will not give a person the fundamental training they need.  Finding a local Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class that is offered for paramedics and first responders to accidents will be a better knowledge source and better equip a person to handle emergency medical situations.

Disaster Training

Disaster training is typically offered by FEMA, the American Red Cross and other disaster organizations.  A person who is equipped with knowledge on how to plan for a disaster, how to properly prepare for a disaster, and how to mental handle the after effects of a disaster will be able to better adapt to the situation more quickly compared to those that are not.  The American Red Cross offers extensive courses in disaster safety and training as well as basic First Aid/CPR courses.  There are also online courses offered through FEMA.

Gardening Skills

In a long term survival situation, seeds will mean the difference between life and death.  The only problem is, many have lost the necessary skill of gardening because there is a grocery store on every corner of the streets these days.  It’s time to get your hands dirty and get back in touch with nature.  Learning necessary gardening skills such as companion plants, crop rotations, beneficial insects, natural ways to replenish soil, and knowledge on proper gardening tools will be beneficial.  Another relevant knowledge source is understanding the medicinal value of plants and herbs.  It is amazing how many uses there are for plants besides spicing up our cooked entrees.  Researching natural medicines is another major need in a survival situation, especially if the person has a pre-existing condition.

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