Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Win an Emergency Radio!

Were you ready for the storm last night? One of these radios could have helped you out:

It’s a Red Cross emergency radio, powered by batteries or a crank. It’s water-resistant, has a flashlight and will charge some cell phones with an adapter. We’re giving this one away!

It’s about a $60 value. Just leave a comment here on this post with your storm stories, and you’ll be entered for a chance to win. Include a question about storm safety or story about taking cover during a storm. Did you hear sirens? Did you go to the basement? Did you know where the flashlight was?

If you're impatient or unlucky and want to buy one of these radios right now, click here. For more storm safety tips, click here. The comments will close on Thursday Aug. 7 at 5 p.m. We’ll choose one winner at random by 5 p.m., Friday Aug. 8. Make sure you’re either signing in or leaving your email in the comment so we can contact you.

-Kristin Claes is a senior writer for the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago. Maria Corral is Director of Marketing Communications and a classy radio model.


John Walsh said...

We were at home last night huddled in the living room hoping the power did not go out since we were watching the radar on the laptop.

Krissy said...

My roommate and I ran to the basement shrieking. No radio, and cell phones ran low. :(

Meg said...

My mom is staying with me for a month and she knew that when you're looking for a tornado, look to the southwest. So we did. It looked awesome, but it wouldn't have been awesome if it had turned into a tornado. The sky was full of very odd, sustained lightening. It looked like something out of a movie. We opened up windows at the front and back of my apartment so the air pressure wouldn't break them. The winds were strong but we weren't in any danger and didn't end up hiding in the closet, which we decided would have been the safest place to go.

juridiculous said...

My cable went out and I couldn't watch this Madmen show Ive heard so many fantastic things about. :(

Red Cross volunteer said...

My parents had never heard sirens before and the first thing they did was grab the crucifix and pray. Fortunately, they also knew they had to get into the basement. Good to have a back up plan:)

gate said...

I live in a garden (basement) apartment in Ukrainian Village. We heard the sirens and saw the emergency warning on cable. I had never heard the tornado siren in Chicago before in the 8 years I've lived here so we thought it might be an ambulance. In St. Louis they test the siren every month so it is a pretty familiar sound. We cracked the window to hear the siren over the sound of the rain and then power went out. I have a plug in rechargeable flashlight which is great because it lights up when the power goes out, making it easy to find. I heard my upstairs neighbors talking in the laundry room outside my apartment so we invited them in. My apartment has a safe area without windows and is much more comfortable than the laundry room. We shared a few beers and relaxed until the power came back on about 15 minutes later. The neighbors ended up staying for a while and we had a great evening.

Anonymous said...

I live about a block from Wrigley Field. It was interesting to see all the people just standing around like there was nothing special going on...then the wind and rain came...then the lightning and thunder came along with the sheets of water/rain.

I saw the lighting striking all around. I could almost hear the strikes at the stadium.

The wind was wailing through my apartment. I was checking the weather radar online. I also have a wather radio, although it is not as cool as the one the red cross puts up. I have rechargeable batteries all over. I have nightlights that double as rechargers and during a power outage use the charged batteries to provide light.

I had my emergency kit ready to go and rode out the storm. Then everything got quiet for an hour or so and then the downpour started again and the lightning came crashing down again and again.

I could really use one of those red cross crank radios. They look so cool and I'd be a better person for having one keeping me safe.

kcblack (at)att(dot)net

Cheryl said...

I ran down to the creepy basement of my apartment building with two cats in one carrier and my flashlight. I'd love to have one of those radios.

Anonymous said...

The storms last evening make us all realize that we are vulnerable at times. Having a Red Cross Radio to PREPARE for a storm event is very important. We never know when storms such as the ones we experienced last evening will impact us at home, or our loved ones and neighbors.

The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago said...

Cheryl, everyone, make sure you leave your email address, or we can't contact you! You can trick the spammers if you spell it out: claesk at usa.redcross.org

Cheryl said...

Sorry. It's cpowellfortyfour (the numbers) at g mail dot com.

Jem said...

I was on my way home from grocery shopping in Evanston. When I went in the store it had been was drizzling lightly, and my biggest worry was accidently knocking something over with the big umbrella sticking awkwardly out of my bag.

When I came out it was raining harder. My glasses steamed up instantly. I opened the umbrella and started my 2 mile walk home. I was surprised to pass someone whose umbrella had gone inside out and back again. I tsked pityingly, both for the fella and the brella.
I wasn't worried because my brolly is ridiculously big and sturdy.

The rain started coming down harder, spraying droplets sideways, but I was still optimistic. Then the wind kicked in and I started to feel a bit like Mary Poppins. Thunder cracking around me, I began to realize how little I know about storms. The sound echoed, drowning out that reassuring voice that said 'it's so very rare to get hit by lightning'. Car sirens started going off, and ambulances passing.

Rare, yes. But how rare? Would I always be safe if I wasn't the tallest object around?

I took cover under an awning with two gentlemen. We watched sheets of rain pouring down, difracting the green red and yellow glow of the traffic light, and hid behind the column as wet hands of wind reached for us. We had an interesting half-shouted conversation about residents of a local halfway house, and old buildings.

I cringed (ok, and screamed here or there) at every thunderclap but the fellas seemed reassuringly calm.

When it let up, I ran to the train station, which aws deserted, and called home. "Are you inside? You're on the platform? Get inside!!!!" Lightening had struck somewhere near our home.

I don't believe the lights went out at our place. Good thing. Our flashlights hang out near the junk drawer, and are variously corroded or have bits missing...

serandip at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

We were on the 24th floor. Without an emergency radio, we turned up the tv and went into the bathroom. I kept peeking out to see the wind and rain whip by the window. My girlfriend refused to come out of the bathroom after I'd told her it had settled down. "The watch lasts until 8:30." "It's 8:27, honey, and it is okay outside" "Are you sure?" "Yeah." "Why isn't it on the TV anymore?" Because it passed."

Then we spend the next hour watching the Weather Channel. Just in case anything else happened.


Unknown said...

My husband and I were at home eating dinner and listening to music. Then I heard this funny sound outside. I thought nothing of it. Living downtown in a busy area brings lots of different noises. I thought it was just street noise. But after listening to it for a while I realized it sounded like the tornado warnings I heard as a child in the suburbs. And I thought “no… tornados don’t happen in the city”. But as we turned down the music and watched the rain and wind pick up I realized it was. At first I thought ok no big deal we will watch the rain as a tornado was not going to pick up my high-rise building. But as the winds picked up and the rain started to pound I realized there were different threats for a downtown city dweller. Our living room has 15 foot floor to ceiling windows. The windows started to vibrate and shake violently!! After seeing that I started to get a bit nervous. With winds as strong as they were we were afraid that something (flower pot or construction materials) would come crashing into our living room windows. Or that the windows would be able to stand the force of the winds. Instead of cracking the windows I was too freaked out to go near them and we quickly headed towards the only room in the condo that had no windows. That was the bathrooms. Ok we were only in there for a very short time like 20 seconds. But what it made me realize that if there was an emergency we would not have been fully prepared. Being an Auxiliary board member of the Red Cross I should know better and have an emergency bag packed with the essentials that are necessary if things were to go bad. I only have some of the items. Putting an emergency bag together for you and your family is important. Go here to find out what is needed. http://www.chicagoredcross.org/general_calltoaction.asp?CTA=3&SN=250&OP=312&SUOP=409&IDCapitulo=VF223FBDFD

Oh PS. Ok so the red cross radio at first looks dorky but after reading all that it can do it seems really cool... Charge your cell phone... crank your radio charge and more...interesting...I am looking forward to winning. :-)

Don Sorsa said...

I was on my 2nd floor porch facing west and saw the storm coming. Thw wind and rain became very powerful and drove me inside for 20 minutes. I couldn't see much to the east or west so I threw on rain gear and waddled out to my car and drove around for an hour watching the lightning, rain, and wind. I offered a ride to a couple people with an umbrella but they laushged and waved me on. My neighbor across the alley had a huge branch blow down on his garage.

On my morning bike ride from Oak Park to the loop and saw scores of branches, small tree, and misc rubble. Most of the trees and branches were still blocking the street when I returned home after work. dsorsa at gmail

John Feeney (Bluegil) said...

In Naperville we started recording with the outside surveillance cameras

Posted it to YouTube.com and VodPod
got some national attention.

John Feeney
Platinum CCTV

Anonymous said...

Whenever there's a big storm I force my husband to play scrabble or dominoes by candlelight and have a glass or two of wine. I LOVE it.

Terri said...

My son, age 25 was solo hiking in a well traveled Argentinean national park. Planning to spend the night in the mountains he was not aware of a snow storm fast approaching. Long story short he found himself in a white out situation very quickly. He dug in, doing his best to make his tent water and wind proof. He woke the next morning to a foot of snow on his tent and found he was less than a mile from the ranger station. Too close for comfort if you ask Mom.

Terri said...

My son, age 25 was solo hiking in a well traveled Argentinean national park. Planning to spend the night in the mountains he was not aware of a snow storm fast approaching. Long story short he found himself in a white out situation very quickly. He dug in, doing his best to make his tent water and wind proof. He woke the next morning to a foot of snow on his tent and found he was less than a mile from the ranger station. Too close for comfort if you ask Mom.