Almost 53,000 homes are still without power, more than a week after strong storms ripped across the country from the Midwest to the mid-Atlantic. The American Red Cross is helping with shelters and meals as people wait for power to be restored.
The power is still out in areas of West Virginia, Virginia, New Jersey, Maryland and Ohio. Hardest hit is West Virginia where more than 45,700 homes still have no electricity. Hundreds of Red Cross disaster workers are in the state, making sure people have a safe place to stay and food to eat. A fleet of emergency vehicles are distributing thousands of meals every day with the help of the Southern Baptist Convention, which has set up four mobile kitchens in West Virginia in partnership with the Red Cross.
If someone needs to find a Red Cross shelter they can go to www.redcross.org or access the free Red Cross phone app. People can also watch local media reports to find out where shelters are located.
HEAT WAVE OUT WEST
While the east cools off to more seasonable temperatures, weather experts say the hot conditions will shift to the western United States where record high temperatures are predicted for the rest of this week. Many states out west are under severe drought conditions, and the high temperatures will boost the threat of wildfires in the region where some fires are still burning. The Red Cross has steps people can follow to be ready for any heat or wildfire emergencies. As temperatures soar, the Red Cross reminds everyone to slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day. People should also:
PLEASE GIVE BLOOD
The recent storms and power outages caused the cancellation numerous Red Cross blood collections in areas without power, resulting in a shortfall of nearly 2,000 units of blood and platelets. The blood supply was already down to emergency levels after 50,000 fewer donations than expected were collected in June.
Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), 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. To schedule a donation time, people can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org.
HOW TO HELP
Those who would like to help people affected by these disasters can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.