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The Red Cross Offers Winter Storm Safety Tips

Albuquerque, NM — Winter storms can range from moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard that lasts for a few days. Regardless of the severity of a winter storm, the American Red Cross wants people in New Mexico to be prepared and to remain safe during these events.

“Many winter storms bring low temperatures, strong winds, sleet and freezing rain,” said Rahim Balsara, CEO of the American Red Cross in New Mexico. “Make sure you have emergency supplies for your entire household in case you end up having to remain in your home for a few days.”

Before the Storm

People should know the difference between a winter storm watch and a warning. A watch is issued when winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. During a warning, severe weather conditions have already begun or will begin within 24 hours and people should immediately take precautions.

The Red Cross recommends having the following items on hand in a convenient spot:

  • At least a 3-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and non-perishable food;
  • A flashlight, battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio and extra batteries;
  • A well-stocked first aid kit;
  • A 7-day supply of medications and medical items; and
  • Supplies for babies and pets.
  • People can learn what to do in an emergency in case advanced medical help is delayed by taking a First Aid and CPR/AED course and by downloading the free American Red Cross First Aid App.

    When a Storm is Coming

  • Listen and watch for critical information from the National Weather Service.
  • Bring pets inside. Move other animals and livestock to sheltered areas.
  • Stay inside. If people must go out, wear warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in layers.
  • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep emergency supplies in vehicles.
  • Balsara reminds everyone: “Check in on your neighbors – especially those requiring special assistance and those living alone.”

    Additional information on what supplies to have and what to do before, during and after a winter storm is located at redcross.org/wintersafety.

    The Red Cross depends on the generosity of the American people to fulfill our mission. To help the Red Cross continue to save lives, contributions may be made to the American Red Cross Local Disaster Relief Fund by calling 1-800-560-2302. Contributions to the Local Disaster Relief Fund may also be sent to the American Red Cross in New Mexico by mail: American Red Cross in New Mexico, 7445 Pan American West Fwy. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109 or made online at www.redcrossnewmexico.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

    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 www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org

    Media Contact: Beverly L. Allen, Communications Coordinator, beverly.allen@redcross.org, (505) 220 3097, December 13, 2012