Millions of people are in the path of the latest blast of snow, sleet and freezing rain affecting most of the eastern half of the country. The storm is causing hazardous travel conditions, road closures, delayed flights, flooding, mudslides and ice jams. The American Red Cross is providing shelter where needed and is working with local and state officials to open more shelters if needed.
In Pennsylvania and West Virginia, melting snow caused flooding, forcing some residents from their homes. In West Virginia, Red Cross workers opened shelters and are providing food, health services and meeting with those affected. In Pennsylvania, the Red Cross distributed cleaning items and is helping people plan their recovery from the flooding. In both states, the Red Cross is standing by to provide more help if needed. Experts say flooding in the region will continue and could spread into Kentucky and Tennessee.
The continuous winter onslaught has led to highway accidents everywhere. The best way to remain safe is to stay off the road during severe weather, if possible. If you have to drive in snow or freezing rain, follow these tips about how to drive safely during a winter storm:
The weather is also causing an uptick in frozen pipes in homes as the frost line goes deeper underground. If you are faced with this problem, the Red Cross has steps you can take.
For more information, visit the winter storm safety section of this web site. You can also download the Red Cross First Aid App for quick, expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available in your app store. See all Red Cross apps at redcross.org/mobileapps.
Since February 1, more than 800 Red Cross blood drives in 27 states were canceled because of inclement weather, resulting in more than 27,300 uncollected blood and platelet donations. Eligible blood and platelet donors who live in areas where it is safe to travel are encouraged to make an appointment to give now, and those in areas affected by severe weather are asked to make and keep appointments when it is safe to do so. Donors with blood types O negative, A negative and B negative are especially needed and are encouraged to donate double red cells where available.
You can help people affected by disasters like winter storms and 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. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.