The American Red Cross is assisting two people after a tragic fire on Carter Road in Geneva, NY Thursday evening. Red Cross assistance typically includes vouchers for temporary housing, food and clothing as needed, and specially-trained Disaster Mental Health volunteers are available to help those affected deal with the emotional trauma of their disaster. Families will meet with caseworkers in the days following their disaster to work out a long-term recovery plan, including referrals to other agencies when appropriate.
Disaster Action Team (DAT) volunteers Susan Dubler, Gerald Lalonde, Ferris Todd and Brian Roeder responded to Thursday’s incident. The American Red Cross responded to 1,129 fires in the Western and Central New York Region from January 1-December 1, 2014, providing immediate emergency assistance to 3,381 people.
Red Cross volunteers have also opened a shelter at the Ripley Fire Hall, located at 15 South State Street in Ripley, NY, where cots, food water and additional support are available in response to the current winter storm. Staff and volunteers are in contact with emergency managers across Western New York and have additional shelter locations on standby if needed.
Lake Effect snow warnings and advisories remain in effect for much of the Western New York Friday, as do travel bans and advisories, including the closure of parts of the NYS Thruway. The Red Cross urges everyone to heed these warnings and stay off the roads if possible, allowing highway crews and first responders to do their jobs and keep the community safe. Where travel is permitted, the Red Cross offers these tips about how to drive safely during a winter storm:
· Fill the vehicle’s gas tank and clean the lights and windows
· Avoid distractions such as cell phones
· Keep a disaster supply kit in the car, including cell phone chargers, snacks, water and blankets
· Don’t follow other vehicles too closely
· Don’t use cruise control
· Before you leave, let someone know where you are going, the route you plan to take, and when you expect to arrive.
Additional winter storm safety tips are available at www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm.