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Erie Red Cross Opens Shelter to Residents Affected by Severe Weather

UNION CITY, Pa. – The local American Red Cross is on the scene in Union City to help those affected by the tornadoes that tore through the area last night. An emergency shelter is open at the Union City Fire Department located at 50 2nd Avenue in Union City to help residents impacted by the storms and power outages by offering a safe place to stay, a hot meal and a shoulder to lean on.

“In the days to come, the Red Cross will be coordinating with emergency officials and local community partners to help residents impacted by the tornadoes get back on their feet,” said Pamela Masi, executive director of the local Red Cross. “The Red Cross will keep shelters open as long as needed, in addition to providing mobile feeding and relief supplies to those affected by the storms.”

Since last night, the Red Cross has served 250 meals and 186 snacks and provided shelter for nearly 15 local residents. Today, the Red Cross plans to distribute clean-up kits and mobilize meal distribution to affected areas in Union City. The Red Cross will also provide meals at the shelter for emergency officials, residents and first responders.

In addition, the Red Cross offers the following tips for those in the affected area to stay safer:

•Avoid driving on flooded roads

•Continue listening to local radio or television stations or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions. If you are away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.

•Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damages.

•If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.

•If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.

•Use battery-powered lanterns or flashlights when examining buildings. Avoid using candles. If you must use candles take extreme care. Keep candles away from any combustible materials. Place candles out of reach of children or pets. Extinguish all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Candles lit and left unattended lead to a large number of single family fires and fire deaths.

•Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.

HOW TO HELP You can help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and other crises by making a donation to the local Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. You can donate by visiting RedCross.org/Pa/Erie or calling the local Red Cross office at 814-833-0942. Your donation helps provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.

For more information, please contact the local Red Cross at 814-833-0942 or visit RedCross.org/Pa/Erie.

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