Red Cross Responds to Cold, Home Fires, California Storm; Issues Safety Steps
The New Year has brought an historic wintry blast of cold temperatures to millions of people. There has also been a high number of home fires during the severe cold, and a storm is headed for California which could cause mudslides and debris flows in some of the areas impacted by the recent wildfires. The American Red Cross is busy helping people affected by these situations and has steps people can take to stay safe.
RED CROSS RESPONSE
Almost 100 people spent Sunday night in Red Cross and community shelters. Red Cross workers had shelters open in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Indiana, Florida, South Carolina and Virginia to help people dealing with the brutal cold.
Home fires are also on the rise. Over the weekend, the Red Cross responded to numerous fires, including some in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, New York, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina, Ohio and Texas.
In California, evacuation orders are up in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties where a strong storm could increase the risk of flooding and debris flow in areas now scarred by the recent wildfire. The Red Cross is opening an evacuation center and deploying trained disaster volunteers to assist.
With cold temperatures there is often a rise in the number of home fires. Follow these tips to help prevent a fire in your home:
The unusually cold weather is resulting in frozen water pipes for many. If you turn on a faucet and no water or only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places for frozen pipes include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
DOWNLOAD APPS People can download the Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to weather alerts for their area and where loved ones live. Expert medical guidance and a hospital locator are included in the First Aid App in case travelers encounter any mishaps. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps.
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.