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Red Cross Maintains Oswego Shelter and Responds to Fire

OSWEGO, N.Y. (Feb. 26, 2015) — The shelter opened by the American Red Cross at Laker Hall on the campus of SUNY Oswego Wednesday night will remain open at least through Sunday, the Red Cross announced today.

The Red Cross opened the shelter for City of Oswego residents who are without water because of frozen water lines in several neighborhoods. Red Cross volunteers are at the shelter with cots, blankets, food, drinks and personal hygiene items for residents who need a warm place to stay or other necessities.

The Red Cross will continue to work Oswego Mayor Thomas W. Gillen and city officials to monitor the situation as residents could be without utilities for an extended period of time.

SUNY Oswego personnel have provided the Red Cross with two sofas, two chairs, a coffee table, a color television and lamps for shelter residents and Red Cross volunteers. The SUNY Oswego Student Association also contributed water, towels and other supplies.

“We’d like to thank our partners at SUNY Oswego for their cooperation and thoughtful donations to the shelter,” said Rosie Taravella, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Western and Central New York Region. “The Oswego community is rallying around the impacted residents and we’re pleased to be part of that effort.”

In other Red Cross news Thursday:

--- Red Cross volunteers have set up a water station at the Home Fire Department, 45 S. Main St., Homer (Cortland County), for residents of that area who are also without water because of frozen water lines at  individual homes. The station will be open until 8 p.m. Thursday, or until all 30 cases of water have been distributed.

--- On Thursday morning, Disaster Action Team volunteers from the Central New York Chapter of the American Red Cross assisted one adult who was displaced by a fire on Pegler Boulevard in Bridgeport (Onondaga County). The volunteers provided the adult with vouchers for food, clothing, seasonal garments and local transportation.
Since Monday, Red Cross volunteers have provided assistance to 20 people (11 adults, nine children) from eight families who have been displaced from their homes by fires in Bridgeport, Liverpool and Syracuse in Onondaga County, Auburn and Weedsport in Cayuga County, and Williamstown in Oswego County.

The Red Cross volunteers will remain available to the residents for support, counseling and referrals to local agencies that will provide long-term assistance during their recovery.

TWO LIFESAVING STEPS The American Red Cross has launched an initiative to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent over the next five years. The Red Cross is asking every household in America to take two simple steps: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home. As part of the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, the Red Cross is joining with fire departments and community groups nationwide to install free smoke detectors in homes that need them. For more information, please contact Individual and Community Preparedness Specialist Veronica Chiesi Brown at 585-241-4405 or

To support home fire survivors across the country, the American Red Cross has launched a new social media campaign called #GiveWhatFireTakes. Donors nationwide have the opportunity to support Red Cross relief efforts. For every amount raised, the Red Cross is able to provide not only recovery items for home fire survivors, but also critical fire safety training and smoke alarm installations to help prevent deaths and injuries. Visit our Crowdrise campaign page, make a direct donation on and share what moved you to join the campaign on social media with #GiveWhatFireTakes.