The American Red Cross has supplies and workers ready to respond and is working with local and state officials to coordinate support if needed.
Report by Paula Antolini
Jan. 26, 2015 1:03PM EDT
Message from the Red Cross, January 26, 2015:
Millions of people along the East Coast are bracing for a major winter storm with blizzard warnings up from New Jersey to Canada. The American Red Cross is preparing to respond if needed and has safety steps people should follow during this massive storm.
The National Weather Service says residents from Philadelphia to Boston could see as much as two feet of snow with winds as strong as 40 to 70 mph. The Red Cross has supplies and workers ready to respond and is working with local and state officials to coordinate support if needed.
Today BETHEL ADVOCATE spoke to Paul Shipman, Spokesperson for the American Red Cross CT Chapter, and he said,
“We are working with communities throughout the state and state government to make sure that we are in communication on conditions and needs. We will be present at the state’s emergency center (the Armory in Hartford, CT) throughout the storm. We’ve reached out to our volunteers to determine their availability and our team is on standby.
We are encouraging people to use the last hours of moderately good weather today to finalize their preparations and get home and prepared to weather the storm at home. We are encouraging folks to have some water and non-perishable foods, to have fresh batteries, flashlights, and radios, and since we’re all on cell phones these days, to make sure we use the time today ahead of really bad weather to get those phones charged.
We work with state governments and local communities to determine sheltering needs and can support those as situations evolve. Typically all the communities across the state are connected as well to the emergency operations center in Hartford, where the governor and state emergency management folks are located and where we have staff. We have people throughout the state who remain in contact with local emergency management teams as well.”
Everyone should get prepared for the storm now. Have your disaster kit ready – details about what should be included are on our web site. It would also be a good idea to look over your home insurance policy to see if you are fully covered during bad weather bouts such as this. You can read more about home insurance at Simply Insurance and see which one would be best for you and your home.
STAY SAFE by following these steps:
Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm.
Be extremely careful if you have to shovel snow. Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.
Watch for hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia symptoms include confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Frostbite symptoms include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.
Don’t forget your pets – bring them indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
Download the American Red Cross First Aid App for quick, expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available in your app store. See all Red Cross apps at redcross.org/mobileapps
DRIVING SAFETY If possible, avoid driving in this storm.
If you have to drive, have a window scraper, kitty litter or sand in case you get stuck, extra clothes and a Disaster Supplies Kit in your trunk. Fill the vehicle’s gas tank and clean the lights and windows to help you see.
Make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
Let someone know where you are going, the route you plan to take, and when you expect to get there. If your car gets stuck, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.
Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.
Don’t pass snow plows.
Know that ramps, bridges and overpasses will freeze before roadways.
If you get stuck, don’t run your engine and heater constantly to help avoid running out of gas. Don’t use things like lights or the radio without the engine running so the battery doesn’t conk out.
If you can, move your vehicle off the roadway. Stay with it – don’t abandon it. If you have to get out of your vehicle, use the side away from traffic.
Storms like this can result in a high number of home fires. To avoid fire danger, remember the following:
Never use a stove or oven to heat your home. If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs
Place space heaters on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
Use generators correctly – never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.
Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.
HOW TO HELP
You can help people affected by disasters like winter storms and countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org call 1-800-RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.
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Phone: (877) 287-3327
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