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Red Cross Offers Safety Tips After Winter Storm

COLUMBIA, S.C., Saturday, Feb. 15 – As power returns to homes and businesses impacted by Winter Storm Pax, The American Red Cross is asking homeowners to use caution while heating their homes and prepare for power restoration.

• Do not use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning device inside your 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.
• Use generators correctly – never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.
• Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.
• Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
• If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
• Leave one light turned on so you’ll know when the power comes back on.
• 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. Another option is to turn off all breakers except one.

The Red Cross has provided more than 1,250 meals and snacks since Thursday to those affected by the Winter Storm in the Palmetto SC Region. More than 400 people have stayed in Red Cross shelters across the Palmetto SC Region.

Because of trained disaster volunteers and financial assistance from the community, Red Cross has been able to help more than 1,000 individuals affected by disasters in the Palmetto SC region since January 1.  On average, the American Red Cross, Palmetto SC Region responds to a disaster every 6.5 hours.  The Palmetto SC Region is made up of seven Red Cross chapters spanning 35-counties of South Carolina.

About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.  For more information, please visit