NASHVILLE, Wednesday, January 29, 2014 — Record breaking cold weather has swept much of the Southeast U.S. over the past few days. Areas that are normally mild have been faced with freezing temperatures which has resulted in many car accidents and stranded travelers across several states. As always, the Red Cross is there to help.
“We are currently working to assist stranded passengers at Greyhound stations in Nashville and Memphis with food, shelter and personal hygiene items,” said David Kitchen, Regional Disaster Program Officer. “Some of these people may have been stranded for over 24 hours and we want to ensure that their emergency needs are being met.”
The Red Cross is providing blankets, comfort kits as well as helping with feeding efforts to provide relief to those who have been affected. The American Red Cross also responded overnight across ten states, and has tips people across the country can follow to be safe while driving in winter weather.
WINTER DRIVING SAFETY TIPS
Ole Man Winter has affected most of the country this month with raging snow storms and sub-zero temperatures. The Red Cross offers these ten tips about what to do if you are driving during a winter storm or become stuck in your vehicle:
1. Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter with a window scraper, kitty litter or sand in case you get stuck, extra clothes and a Disaster Supplies Kit in your trunk. Pack high-protein snacks, water, first aid kit, flashlight, small battery-operated radio, an emergency contact card with names and phone numbers, extra prescription medications, blankets and important documents or information you may need.
2. Fill the vehicle’s gas tank and clean the lights and windows to help you see.
3. Find out what disasters may occur where you are traveling and pay attention to the weather forecast. Before you leave, 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.
4. If you can, avoid driving in sleet, freezing rain, snow or dense fog. If you have to drive, make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
5. Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.
6. Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.
7. Don’t pass snow plows.
8. Know that ramps, bridges and overpasses will freeze before roadways.
9. 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.
10. 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.
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. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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