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American Red Cross Responds to Power Outages in NY

The American Red Cross is opening a shelter at the Gang Mills Fire Department, 125 Forest Drive, Painted Post

High heat, humidity and power outages prompt opening of cooling station in Gang Mills

The American Red Cross is opening a shelter at the Gang Mills Fire Department, 125 Forest Drive, Painted Post in response to power outages in the Erwin area. Individuals affected by the heat and power outages can come to the cooling station for water, snacks and air conditioning. The cooling station will remain open until the temperature decreases this evening and will be evaluated Thursday morning to open if it becomes necessary. Water and air conditioning will be available at the offices of the American Red Cross, 911 Stowell Street in Elmira and 123 West Market Street in Corning during regular hours of operation, 8:30am to 4:30pm.

Sudden power outages can be frustrating and troublesome, especially when they last a long time. For prolonged power outages there are steps people can take to minimize food loss and to keep all members of the household as comfortable as possible.


  • Report downed power lines to the appropriate officials.
  • Turn off lights and computers when not in use.
  • Wash clothes in cold water if possible; wash only full loads and clean the dryer's lint trap after each use.
  • When using a dishwasher, wash full loads and use the light cycle. If possible, use the rinse only cycle and turn off the high temperature rinse option. When the regular wash cycle is done, just open the dishwasher door to allow the dishes to air dry.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent lights.
  • When the power comes back on, do not touch any electrical power lines and keep people and pets away from them.
  • Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures higher than 40° F for 2 hours or more, or that has an unusual odor, color or texture.
  • Never taste food or rely on appearance or odor to determine its safety. Some foods may look and smell fine, but if they have been at room temperature too long, bacteria can start to grow quickly. Some types of bacteria produce toxins that cannot be destroyed by cooking.
  • If food in the freezer is colder than 40° F and has ice crystals on it, it can be refrozen.
  • If people are unsure food is cold enough, take its temperature with a food thermometer.
  • Throw out any foods (meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) that have been exposed to temperatures higher than 40° F for 2 hours or more, and any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture, or feels warm to touch.
  • According to American Red Cross of Western New York Region Disaster Services Manager Judy Coleman, “Our team of dedicated volunteers and staff is ready to respond and help families in need over the next few days. This is a time when we really rely upon our trained volunteers to provide compassionate care. We couldn’t do what we do without them.”

    For more information on what to do when temperatures rise, people can visit, download the Red Cross Heat Wave Safety Checklist, or download the free Red Cross First Aid app. The app is available for iPhone and Android smart phone and tablet users in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. People can learn how to treat heat-related and other emergencies by taking First Aid and CPR/AED training online or in person. Go to for information and to register.