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At this time, the Red Cross urges people in the path of the storm to shelter in place where possible to avoid treacherous travel.

Red Cross shelters open and on stand-by in some locations

Friday, January 6, 2017 - With frigid temperatures, sleet and snow moving into metro and northern counties of the state today, Georgia's Red Cross continues to work closely with local EMAs and community organizations to monitor the threat and to support warming centers with cots, blankets and comfort kits. In addition, the Red Cross will open the following shelters tonight by 6:00 p.m.:

Red Cross Shelters Open Friday Night:


Douglas County

First United Methodist Church

6167 Prestley Mill Rd.

Douglasville, GA 30134

*Opening at 6pm


Gilmer County

Gilmer County Civic Center

1561 S Main St.

Ellijay, GA 30540

*Opened 3pm

Gordon County

Calhoun Recreation Dept.

601 S River St.

Calhoun, GA 30701

*Opening at 5pm

Additional Red Cross shelters are on standby if heavy snow brings down tree limbs and power lines, resulting in widespread outages that leave people vulnerable to freezing temperatures. The need for shelters remains fluid and updates on locations are entered regularly into the National Shelter System database, which can be accessed at or by downloading our FREE Emergency App (English, Spanish)

At this time, the Red Cross urges people in the path of the storm to shelter in place where possible to avoid treacherous travel, and to check on the safety of their neighbors, especially the elderly. At least a 3-day supply of food and water for each person in the household is recommended as part of a family disaster supplies kit. Everyone should use caution to reduce the risk of home fires and the potentially damaging effects of frigid temperatures on people, pets, water pipes and more.

Responding and remaining safe during a winter storm

  • Stay informed. Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information on snow storms and blizzards from the National Weather Service (NWS).
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure that their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles.
  • Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear. Do not use a stove or oven to heat the home. Space heaters should sit on a level, hard surface and anything flammable should be kept at least three feet away. If using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs. Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much costlier repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power or heat during periods of extreme cold.
  • Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain or drizzle, snow or dense fog. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
  • Before tackling strenuous tasks in cold temperatures, consider your physical condition, the weather factors and the nature of the task. Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.
  • Help people who require special assistance such as elderly people living alone, people with disabilities, access or functional needs and children.
  • Caution: Carbon Monoxide Kills!
  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.
  • For expert advice on how to prepare & respond to winter weather and other disasters at your fingertips, download the FREE bilingual Red Cross Emergency App (English, Spanish) and get real-time local alerts for severe weather and hazards. Includes a map with local Red Cross shelters.

    Additional Red Cross information:

    * Winter Storm Safety Checklist (1 page)

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  • Blood Shortage:

    Severe winter weather is compounding a winter blood shortage at the Red Cross. Eligible donors are needed when it is safe to travel. Make an appointment today by using the Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). There is currently an emergency need for blood and platelet donors of all types.

    Meanwhile, Tornado Relief Efforts Continue in the Albany, Georgia Area:

    Following significant damage reported in several counties after severe weather and a tornado moved through Southwest Georgia earlier this week, the Red Cross is also providing support and comfort to people affected in the area. More than 40 disaster volunteers continue to assess damage to homes and help meet the urgent needs of residents. To date, the Red Cross has provided more than 1,410 meals at shelters and through mobile outreach in partnership with the Salvation Army. Another 757 bottles of water and snacks have been distributed to those impacted. More than 3,500 homes are without power and two Red Cross shelters will remain open through the weekend as needed.

    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 or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.