Winter Storm: Red Cross Issues Safety Tips, Asks People to Give Blood
Severe weather is threatening millions of people from coast to coast in the next few days including heavy rains in California and freezing temperatures, snow and ice from the south all the way to New England. The American Red Cross has steps people can take as this new round of harsh weather crosses the United States.
Parts of the country will see bitter cold temperatures along with ice and snow. People in those areas should keep these tips in mind:
Winter storms and cold temperatures often bring a rise in the number of home fires. Follow these tips to help prevent a fire in your home:
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:
People should download the Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to advice on what to do in emergencies and disasters like winter storms. You’ll find tips on how to plan ahead in case heavy rain or a snow storm threatens. The app also contains weather alerts, life-saving information and ways to contact family and friends in one free, easy-to-use app for mobile devices.
This latest round of severe winter weather could worsen the current severe winter blood shortage. The storm could force blood drives to be cancelled in the midst of the Red Cross’ current emergency call for blood and platelet donations.
Hectic holiday schedules for blood donors along with snowstorms and severe weather contributed to about 37,000 fewer donations in November and December than what was needed. In December alone, almost 100 blood drives were cancelled.
Eligible blood donors are urged to schedule a donation today by using the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donors can help even more people by inviting a family member, friend or co-worker to donate too. The Red Cross encourages individuals to make a donation appointment and to complete a RapidPass online health history questionnaire to help speed up the donation process.
Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
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.
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