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Red Cross opens cooling stations and provides clean-up kits

downed power lines
Our team of dedicated volunteers and staff is ready to respond and help families in need over the next few days. This is a time when we really rely upon our trained volunteers to provide compassionate care.

Staff and volunteers for the American Red Cross Northwest Ohio Region are assessing damage and providing assistance to people affected by the severe thunderstorms Wednesday that brought strong winds, heavy rain, and flooding. Power may be disrupted in affected areas throughout the weekend.

The Red Cross of Northwest Ohio is opening a cooling station at McPherson Middle School located at 4230 Limerick Road, Clyde, Ohio 43410 for those in need. The American Red Cross Firelands Chapter is also opening a cooling station at the Monroeville Community Center located at 101 West Street, Monroeville, Ohio 44847. Power will be available to individuals in need of electricity to operate necessary medical devices. The stations will be open to those affected by the storm in an effort to move people out of the heat and keep them hydrated.

According to American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio Disaster Services Manager Gary Loboschefski, “Our team of dedicated volunteers and staff is ready to respond and help families in need over the next few days. This is a time when we really rely upon our trained volunteers to provide compassionate care. We couldn’t do what we do without them.”

The American Red Cross of Hancock County is evaluating the damage and distributing clean up kits to assist families affected by flooding. These free kits can be used to clean and disinfect areas of the home affected by water. The kits will be distributed on Friday, July 12, 2013 from noon – to 4:00 p.m. at the American Red Cross offices in Findlay, Upper Sandusky, and Tiffin, as well as Commercial Savings Bank in Carey.


Sudden power outages can be frustrating and troublesome, especially when they last a long time. For prolonged power outages there are steps people can take to minimize food loss and to keep all members of the household as comfortable as possible.

  • Report downed power lines to the appropriate officials.
  • Turn off lights and computers when not in use.
  • Wash clothes in cold water if possible; wash only full loads and clean the dryer's lint trap after each use.
  • When using a dishwasher, wash full loads and use the light cycle. If possible, use the rinse only cycle and turn off the high temperature rinse option. When the regular wash cycle is done, just open the dishwasher door to allow the dishes to air dry.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent lights.
  • When the power comes back on, do not touch any electrical power lines and keep people and pets away from them.
  • Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures higher than 40° F for 2 hours or more, or that has an unusual odor, color or texture.
  • Never taste food or rely on appearance or odor to determine its safety. Some foods may look and smell fine, but if they have been at room temperature too long, bacteria can start to grow quickly. Some types of bacteria produce toxins that cannot be destroyed by cooking.
  • If food in the freezer is colder than 40° F and has ice crystals on it, it can be refrozen.
  • If people are unsure food is cold enough, take its temperature with a food thermometer. Throw out any foods (meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) that have been exposed to temperatures higher than 40° F for 2 hours or more, and any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture, or feels warm to touch.

    Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Conditions that cause floods include heavy or steady rain for several hours or days that saturates the ground.

  • Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.
  • Before entering the home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks, or other damage.
  • Parts of the home may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.
  • Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into the home with the floodwater.
  • If people smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, they should leave immediately and call the fire department.
  • If power lines are down outside the home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
  • Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.
  • Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.
  • During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
  • Make sure food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils, and baby bottle nipples.
  • Contact the local or state public health department to see if the water supply might be contaminated. There may be a boil water advisory. Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice, or make baby formula.
  • The Red Cross will continue to assess the situation and be available to respond should conditions worsen over the next few days. Residents requiring assistance at this time can call 419-329-6060. For more information on the local Red Cross response, please follow the American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio on Facebook and Twitter.