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Power Still Out For Many As Most of U.S. Swelters

A fleet of nearly 20 emergency vehicles and four mobile kitchens are in West Virginia distributing meals and drinks in the affected areas

As much of the country bakes under excessive heat and humidity, more than half a million households are still without power. The American Red Cross issued steps people should take to stay safe during the heat wave, and is continuing to assist those without power with shelter, food and cooling stations until electricity can be restored.

POWER OUTAGES

More than 225,000 homes in West Virginia are still without power. Hundreds of Red Cross disaster workers are helping throughout the state, providing shelter, meals and supporting places to cool off. A fleet of nearly 20 emergency vehicles and four mobile kitchens are in West Virginia distributing meals and drinks in the affected areas.

In Ohio, more than 139,000 people still have no power. Almost 12,000 people are still without power in New Jersey. The Red Cross has shelters, is supporting cooling stations and is distributing meals to those without electricity. More than 365 people spent Thursday night in Red Cross shelters in West Virginia, Ohio, New Jersey, Virginia, Indiana, Maryland and the District of Columbia where the power outages continue.

If someone needs to find a Red Cross shelter they can go to www.redcross.org or access the free Red Cross phone app. People can also watch local media reports to find out where shelters are located.

EXTREME HEAT

As temperatures continue to soar across the country, the Red Cross reminds everyone to slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day. People should also:

  • Stay hydrated, drink plenty of fluids (avoid caffeine or alcohol) and eat small meals.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  • Take a lot of breaks if working outdoors.
  • Remember to never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles. Check on animals frequently and make sure they have plenty of water
  • RED CROSS HELPING ACROSS U.S.

    Meanwhile, Red Cross disaster workers continue to help people affected by the wildfires out west and flooding in Florida. More than 1,500 Red Cross disaster workers are helping all across the United States. Thursday night more than 620 people were in 45 Red Cross shelters in West Virginia, Montana, Florida, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Ohio, Indiana, California, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and around Washington, D.C.

    Since early June, the Red Cross has supported families across multiple states, operating shelters, serving hundreds of thousands of meals and snacks and distributing almost 160,000 relief items like rakes, shovels, coolers, work gloves, cleaning supplies and hygiene kits.

    PLEASE GIVE BLOOD

    The storms and power outages have caused the cancellation of more than 50 Red Cross blood collections in areas without power, resulting in a shortfall of nearly 2,000 units of blood and platelets. The blood supply was already down to emergency levels after 50,000 fewer donations than expected were collected in June.

    Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. To schedule a donation time, people can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org.

    POWER OUTAGE

    While their electricity is out, many people are resorting to generator power. They should connect the equipment they want powered directly to the generator outlets, and never connect a generator to the home’s electrical system.

  • Refrigerators can only keep food cold for about four hours with the door closed. A full freezer can hold its temperature for about two days if the door remains closed. Many areas have now been without power for several days. People should use caution before consuming food they’ve had on hand while the power is out.
  • People should turn appliances and electrical equipment off and unplug them, leaving one light on to know when the power is restored.
  • Those affected should travel only if necessary. Traffic lights are out and roads will be congested.
  • HOW TO HELP

    Those who would like to help people affected by these disasters can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word 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. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.