The strong winter storm which has plagued a large part of the country isn’t finished yet, bringing heavy snow, strong winds, high waves and flooding to parts of New England through Saturday. The American Red Cross opened shelters in some areas and urged everyone to follow officials’ orders and stay safe during the storm.
Thousands of people are still without power, although officials say most electricity should be restored over the weekend. If someone’s is without power, there are steps they can take to keep their food safe, including:
There is more information available about what to do during a power outage in the preparedness section of the Red Cross website.
PLEASE GIVE BLOOD The storm has forced the cancellation of more than 70 blood drives in 14 states and the District of Columbia for a total of more than 2,800 uncollected blood and platelet donations. The Red Cross encourages those who live in areas unaffected by the storm to schedule a time to give blood or platelets. To schedule an appointment to give blood, people can call 1-800-REDCROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org
To give blood, someone must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health. Donors should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID with them. Some states allow 16-year-olds with parental consent.
FLASH FLOODS Officials are urging residents along the coast to take precautions in the event of flooding due to storm surge, high waves and higher tides than usual. Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area. People should be especially cautious at night when it is harder to see where flooding is occurring. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water
TRAVEL ADVISORIES Some parts of New England could receive almost a foot of snow. People should avoid driving during the storm until road conditions improve. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle. Your kit should include a flashlight and batteries, a first aid kit, cleaner for your windshield, reflective triangles and bright cloth, an ice scraper and snow brush and non-perishable food. Other steps include:
More information on what steps you can take to stay safe during storms and other emergencies is available on this website.