Life is slowly returning to normal on the East Coast as people dig out from the weekend’s historic snow storm, but some still need help and the American Red Cross is hard at work across multiple states, lending a hand.
The Red Cross still has shelters open in several states to help people affected by the storm. In New Jersey, Red Cross workers are helping assess the damage after the flooding in the southern end of the state.
PLEASE GIVE BLOOD The extreme weather has created an emergency need for blood donations and platelet donors, as many donation centers had to be closed during the blizzard. All eligible blood and platelet donors of all types are urged to make an appointment to give as soon as possible. See full details here about how you can help.
WINTER DRIVING Many highways and streets are still snow-covered. The Red Cross urges people to avoid driving if possible. If someone has to drive, they should have a window scraper, kitty litter or sand, extra clothes and a Disaster Supplies Kit in the trunk in case they get stuck. 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.
POWER OUTAGE If you are without power during the cold, you should go to a designated public shelter. If you are going to use a generator, never use it indoors, even in a garage, carport, basement or crawlspace, as fumes from the generator can be deadly. 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.
Other safety tips include:
AFTER THE STORM As people begin to dig out from the snow in the coming days, the Red Cross cautions them to be very careful. Shoveling snow is very strenuous work and people should consider their physical condition before taking it on. Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated. Other safety steps include:
DOWNLOAD RED CROSS EMERGENCY APP Download the free Red Cross Emergency App for winter weather alerts and warnings and location of shelters. The app’s Winter Storm section contains expert advice for what to do before, during and after winter storms.
HOW TO HELP You can help people affected by disasters like winter storms or 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. Donate by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.