GEORGETOWN, S.C. January 6, 2014 - The American Red Cross is supporting an overnight warming center at the Williamsburg Recreation Center at 2084 Thurgood Marshall in Kingstree at the request of Williamsburg Emergency Management for the homeless, elderly and those who may have inadequate heating. The warming center will be open tonight and tomorrow night from 7p.m. to 8a.m.
“We are glad that we can assist Williamsburg Emergency Management by providing cots and blankets as well as drinks and snacks for the warming center,” said Nanci Conley, executive director, Coastal SC Chapter, American Red Cross Palmetto SC Region. “As temperatures begin to drop we encourage everyone to wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm and to practice fire safety when trying to warm your home.”
The American Red Cross, which assisted fourteen people who were devastated by home fires last week in Andrews and Kingstree, urges the following safety tips:
COLD WEATHER SAFETY TIPS
Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing body heat.
• Someone should seek medical attention immediately if they have symptoms of hypothermia, including confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering.
• Watch for symptoms of frostbite, including numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.
• Don’t forget family pets – bring them indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
• Avoid frozen pipes - run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent them from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
• Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night to help avoid freezing pipes.
• Download the Red Cross First Aid App for quick, expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available on the Apple iTunes or Google Play stores.
Heating systems are running at full force and many people are resorting to other sources to keep their homes warm. To avoid fire danger, you should remember the following:
Fire Safety Tips:
• Never use a stove or oven to heat the home.
• If using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs. Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
• If using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
• 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 someone wants to power directly to the outlets on the generator.
People should also download the free American Red Cross First Aid app, which provides instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies. The apps can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.
People can test their knowledge on how to prevent home fires by taking the Fire Safety Quiz, and can learn more about fire prevention by visiting redcross.org.
The Coastal SC Chapter serves Williamsburg, Georgetown and Horry counties and is part of the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross.
Because of trained disaster volunteers and financial assistance from the community, the American Red Cross Palmetto SC Region has been able to assist more than 700 families and 2,400 individuals affected by disaster since July 1, 2013.
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.
It takes an average $1,250 for Red Cross to support a family of four impacted by fire. The Red Cross’ Coastal SC Chapter needs the support of the community to provide assistance to families impacted by fire. Anyone interested in supporting the Coastal SC Chapter, can make a financial contribution by visiting www.redcross.org/coastalSC, or by calling (843) 222-0685 or by mailing a donation to the American Red Cross Coastal SC Chapter at 3531 Pampas Drive, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577.
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 redcross.org