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14 Western and Central New York Volunteers Support Winter Storm Relief Efforts in Massachusetts

Red Cross volunteer helping lady in a shelter

BUFFALO, NY, Wednesday, March 14, 2018 14 volunteers from the American Red Cross, Western and Central New York Region, are a part of the winter storm relief efforts currently underway in Massachusetts.

NAME                                    HOMETOWN                      ACTIVITY

Stacie Barnett                         Albion                                     Disaster Assessment

John Carroll                           Camillus                                 Sheltering

Peter Constas                         Manlius                                  Sheltering

Michelle Fiermonte                Syracuse                                 Sheltering

Laurie Hagen                         West Seneca                           Disaster Assessment

Heather Holley                       Albion                                     Disaster Assessment

Deborah Nellenbach              Victor                                      Disaster Assessment

Sarah Perkins                         Pittsford                                  Disaster Assessment 

William Platt                          Rochester                               Community Partnerships

Christine Schutterop              Pittsford                                  Sheltering

Mark Sennett                         Fairport                                   Sheltering

Robert Stolze                          Canandaigua                          Disaster Assessment

Deborah Thompson               Lima                                       Sheltering

Linda Witte                            Livonia                                    Sheltering

In addition, volunteer Joyce Alexander of Rochester is supporting the flood relief efforts in Indiana as a Recovery Generalist. 

The third nor’easter in just days is affecting the East Coast, and much of the Western and Central New York Region is experience winter weather this week. The Red Cross is urging people to stay safe and is monitoring the storm to respond if needed.

PLEASE GIVE BLOOD Large winter storm systems like these nor’easters can cancel Red Cross blood drives needed to collect lifesaving blood donations for patients in need. In fact, approximately 250 Red Cross blood drives have been cancelled this month due to severe winter weather, resulting in thousands of uncollected blood and platelet donations. Blood and platelets are needed for accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.

·         Donors in weather-affected areas are urged to give blood or platelets when the storm has passed and it is safe to travel.

·         Donors in areas unaffected by the weather may be helping patients close to home or patients in areas where donors are unable to give because of inclement weather.

·         Eligible individuals can make an appointment to give by using the Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). 

WINTER STORM SAFETY INFORMATION HERE

The Red Cross has steps people should take to stay safe during the storm.

·         Assemble an emergency preparedness kit.

·         Create a household evacuation plan that includes your pets.

·         Stay off the road if possible during severe weather. If you must drive in winter weather, make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road. Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Don’t use cruise control. Don’t pass snow plows.

·         If you become stranded, stay in your vehicle and wait for help. Do not leave the vehicle to search for assistance unless help is visible. You can quickly become disoriented and confused in blowing snow. Hang a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) on the radio antenna and raise the hood after snow stops falling.

·         Run the engine occasionally to keep warm. Turn on the engine for about 10 minutes each hour. Use the heater while the engine is running. Keep the exhaust pipe clear of snow, and slightly open a downwind window for ventilation.

·         Wear layers of clothing, a hat, mittens and waterproof, insulated boots.

·         Avoid overexertion, such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a vehicle, or walking in deep snow. The strain from the cold and the hard labor may cause a heart attack. Sweating could lead to a chill and hypothermia.

·         Check on your neighbors, especially elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.

·         Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.

·         Watch for hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia symptoms include confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Frostbite symptoms include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.

POWER OUTAGE

·         Use flash lights in the dark, not candles.

·         Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights will be out and roads will be congested.

·         If you are using a generator be sure you understand the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and how to use generators safely.

·         Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. If it looks like the power outage will continue beyond a day, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items.

·         Keep food in a dry, cool spot and keep it covered at all times.

·         Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.

·         Turn off or disconnect any appliances (like stoves), equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment.

·         Leave one light turned on so you’ll know when the power comes back on. 

SPACE HEATERS

·         If using a space heater, look for a model that shuts off automatically if the heater falls over. Place the heater on a level, hard and nonflammable surface in the home.

·         Keep all potential sources of fuel like paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves, or fireplaces.

·         Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended. Turn off space heaters and make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before going to bed or leaving home.

·         Keep children and pets away from space heaters.

 DOWNLOAD APPS People can download the Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to weather alerts for their area and where loved ones live. Expert medical guidance and a hospital locator are included in the First Aid App in case travelers encounter any mishaps. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps.

The Red Cross relies on the power of volunteers to provide comfort and hope to those affected by disaster down the street and across the country. For more information on how to help your community by becoming a Red Cross volunteer, please visit www.redcross.org/volunteer.

You can help people affected by disasters like winter storms and countless other crises by making a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to, and help people recover from disasters big and small. Call, click, or text to give: visit redcross.org, call 1-800 RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.