JACKSON, MS, Thursday, December 27, 2012—The American Red Cross is responding today in communities throughout Central and South Mississippi hit by the Christmas Day storms.
Red Cross Disaster Action Teams (DAT) are responding in Amite, Clarke, Jones, Forest, Pearl River, Stone and Wilkinson counties. Red Cross is working with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and local Emergency Managers.
"Red Cross volunteers and staff are on the scene where damaged occurred and are assisting with immediate, disaster-caused needs," said Sandra Hodge, Red Cross Mississippi Region CEO.
Red Cross is focused on people’s emergency needs and has moved volunteers, equipment and supplies into affected communities. Emergency response vehicles are on the move serving meals and distributing relief items. Red Cross is providing people with food, shelter and other emergency supplies such as clean-up kits, blankets, flashlights, batteries, rakes, tarps, trash bags, work gloves, shovels and dust masks.
The Pearl River Baptist Association shelter will be open again tonight for anyone affected by the storms and needing a warm place to stay and a hot meal. The shelter is located at 1376 McNeil Steephollow Road in Carriere and is supported by the Red Cross. For a list of items to bring with you to the shelter, visit www.redcross.org/mississippi
Anyone seeking assistance with disaster-related needs, should contact their local Red Cross Office, search “Red Cross Mississippi” on Facebook or follow @RedCrossMiss on Twitter. For a list of Red Cross Offices and contact numbers, visit www.redcross.org/mississippi.
All Red Cross disaster assistance is free and made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of this severe weather event in Mississippi by making a financial gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief in Mississippi which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to those in need.
To make contributions, donate online at www.redcross.org/mississippi, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to any of the local Red Cross Offices in Mississippi.
Those affected can let loved ones know they are safe by registering on the Red Cross Safe and Well website. The site is secure and people can register by visiting www.redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. This site also connects with the Twitter and Facebook accounts of users.
For Red Cross cold weather safety tips and preparedness information, visit http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm.
As people return home to begin the clean-up, Red Cross has several safety steps that should be followed:
• If possible, leave children and pets with a relative or friend. If not, keep them away from hazards.
• When the power is out, use flashlights, not candles.
• Beware of snakes, insects and other animals that may be in or around your home.
• Look outside for damaged power lines, gas lines, foundation cracks and other exterior damage - it may be too dangerous to enter the home. If you smell gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and contact the fire department.
• Throw out all food, beverages and medicine exposed, including canned goods and containers with food or liquid that were sealed shut. When in doubt, throw it out.
• Throw out items that absorb water and cannot be cleaned or disinfected (mattresses, carpeting, cosmetics, stuffed animals and baby toys).
• Clean hard surfaces (flooring, countertops and appliances) thoroughly with hot water and soap or a detergent.
• Check the ceiling and floor for signs of sagging. Water may be trapped in the ceiling, or floors may be unsafe to walk on.
• Be careful when moving waterlogged furnishings or debris that may be heavier.
• Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you know it’s safe.
• Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal--burning device inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate the unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross Mississippi Region shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters, supports the supply of 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 mississippi-redcross.org, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @RedCrossMiss.