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Red Cross Shelters 50 People in 2 Central Nebraska Shelters Overnight

“Check in on your neighbors – especially those requiring special assistance and those living alone.” - Tina Labellarte, Region CEO

OMAHA, NEB., Thursday, December 20, 2012 - The American Red Cross is working with Metro Area County Emergency Managers to determine to the most easily accessible locations for public shelters tonight if power outages continue throughout the day. Stranded travelers and local residents will find Red Cross shelters to be a place where affected families may stop in to receive a meal, keep warm and/or spend the night until power is restored. Shelter locations are expected to be announced by mid-afternoon.

The Red Cross closed the shelter in Holdrege, Nebraska at 9:30 Thursday morning. More than a dozen stranded travelers stayed in the shelter overnight and have since been able to get back to their vehicle and continue their journey. A second shelter in Geneva remains open this morning. That shelter is at Old Geneva Hospital had been opened at midnight for 34 people who are impacted by the severe winter weather and power outages.

Other Red Cross Shelter Locations (Open 24 hours): Old Geneva Hospital, 1420 H. Street, Geneva, NE 68361

For help in locating a shelter, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) between 8:00 am and 7:00 pm or download the Red Cross Shelter App. When disaster strikes know when and where shelters have been opened to provide assistance by downloading the Red Cross Shelter App. If you have an iPhone you can download the app, it uses data about open shelters from the American Red Cross National Shelter System (NSS). The NSS contains information about 60,000 potential disaster facilities and is used to track and report on shelter information during disasters. The NSS enables emergency managers and disaster relief workers to identify relevant information for all shelters in use and to develop effective response strategies before disasters strike.

Anyone evacuating to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family:

  • Prescriptions and emergency medications
  • Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements
  • Identification to show residence is in affected area and important personal documents
  • Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items
  • Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys
  • Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled
  • Note – Public health regulations do not permit pets in shelters; service animals are permitted.
  • During a storm:

  • Listen and watch for critical information from the National Weather Service.
  • Bring pets inside. Move other animals and livestock to sheltered areas.
  • Stay inside. If people must go out, wear warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in layers.
  • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep emergency supplies in vehicles.
  • “Check in on your neighbors – especially those requiring special assistance and those living alone,” said Tina Labellarte, Region CEO.

    For information on winter storm preparedness or to find out how you can become a volunteer visit or call 1-800-REDCROSS.

    Make a Donation

    The Red Cross depends on financial donations to help in times of disaster. Those who want to help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and wildfires, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. This gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS; people can also text the word “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at