The snow has stopped falling, but people are still recovering from this week’s winter storm. The American Red Cross has shelters open and is serving meals to those who still need help after the latest blast of winter.
Meanwhile, the never-ending winter weather has caused thousands of blood donations to go uncollected, and the Red Cross is urging people to give blood now.
Freezing temperatures in Arizona and New Mexico caused gas and power outages and utility pipes to burst, prompting people to leave their homes and find warmth and safety in shelters. Power outages are also being reported in Indiana, Illinois, Texas, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Overnight there were 41 shelters open helping more than 550 people in six states: Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, New Mexico, Ohio and Texas. To find an open Red Cross shelter, people can visit www.redcross.org and click on ‘Find a Shelter,’ or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Weather experts predict more snow may be on the way over the lower Mississippi Valley this weekend, and along the coast from New Jersey to New England, with temperatures dropping into the single digits. To help people affected by the cold and snow and thousands of other disasters in this country and around the world, visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone’s local Red Cross chapter, or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
Meanwhile, the number of blood donations gone uncollected due to severe winter weather rose overnight to more than 29,300. The Red Cross is urging anyone who is eligible to schedule a blood donation time now. People can schedule their donation by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting www.redcrossblood.org. All blood types are needed, but there is a special need for donors with O-Negative, A-Negative and B-Negative blood.
To give blood, someone must be 17 years of age or older (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. Individuals should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when coming to donate.
For more information on how to stay safe and warm this winter, visit www.redcross.org. For more information on giving blood, or to schedule your donation, visit www.redcrossblood.org.