THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 2018 9AM — The second Nor’easter in less than a week struck Eastern Pennsylvania Wednesday, delivering another round of heavy, wet snow. The weight of that snow has led to additional power outages across the region. The Red Cross is working with local officials to open two additional shelters in response the new outages.
Bucks County: Middletown Township Municipal Building, 3 Municipal Way, Langhorne, PA
Monroe County: Stroudsburg High School, 1100 W. Main St., Stroudsburg, PA
Pike County: Dingman Township V.F.D., 680 Log Tavern Rd., Milford, PA;
Matamoras Fire Department, 506 Avenue Q, Matamoras, PA
Anyone coming to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family:
- Prescriptions and emergency medications
- Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements
- Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items
- Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys
- Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled
- Chargers for any electronic devices you bring with you
- Books, games and other ways to entertain your family and yourself
- Food, crate, and other supplies to care for your pet
Wednesday night about 70 people spent the night in Red Cross shelters in the Poconos. The shelters are providing warm meals, a safe place to sleep and emotional support for those with immediate, disaster-caused needs. Hot showers and charging stations are also available.
In addition, the Red Cross is also supporting several partner-run shelters and daytime warming centers throughout all of Eastern Pennsylvania. For warming center locations near you, contact your municipality or county emergency management agency.
Power outages are expected to last through the end of the week in some places. The Red Cross has some important safety tips to keep you and your family safe as you wait for the lights to come back on.
- Use flash lights in the dark, not candles. Candles can start fires.
- If you are using a generator be sure you understand the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and how to use generators safely. Never use a generator indoors or in a garage. It must be kept outside in a well-ventilated area.
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.
- 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.
- First use perishable food from the refrigerator. Perishables should have a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) or below to be safe to eat. Then use food from the freezer.
Use your non-perishable foods and staples after using food from the refrigerator and freezer.
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.
- If using a space heater powered by a generator, 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 leaving home.
DOZENS OF BLOOD DRIVES CANCELED
Inclement weather and power outages in March have caused blood drive cancelations that have resulted in close to 5,000 units of blood and platelets to go uncollected throughout the Eastern U.S. including close to 1,500 units in our region. Every day in Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the Red Cross needs to collect close to 800 units of blood and platelets—regardless of the weather—in order to meet the needs of patients. Donors of all blood types are encouraged to give as soon as they are able to help ensure hospitals have an adequate supply of blood and platelets. To find a donation site near you, visit redcrossblood.org, call 1-800-REDCROSS or download the free Blood Donor App.
DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS
People can download the Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to weather alerts for the upcoming winter storm. The Emergency app can also be used to locate an official Red Cross shelter near you. Expert medical guidance and a hospital locator are included in the First Aid App in case you encounter any mishaps. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
You can help people affected by disasters like winter storms or countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Donate by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.