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Red Cross Caring for People in Eight States as Winter Storm Leaves Hundreds of Thousands Without Power
Date:1/30/2009

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Almost 5,000 people escaped their frigid homes last night in American Red Cross shelters in areas where utility companies are working to restore power to more than 770,000 homes and businesses still in the dark after this week's storm. With new snow on the ground and a chilly weekend approaching, that number could grow as more cold weather grips the nation.

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"Our shelters are seeing more and more visitors as power outages continue," reported Joe Becker, Senior Vice President, Disaster Services for the Red Cross, "With official estimates calling for several more days without power, the Red Cross will be there offering shelter and warmth as long as people need us."

Ice and downed trees are making travel and access to the affected areas difficult. With phone service out too, officials in some communities are going door-to-door to check on residents and let them know where shelters are located. People coming to shelters report running out of food in their chilly homes. Temperatures in the affected areas are predicted to remain cold through the weekend. Residents of Missouri, Oklahoma, Illinois, Arkansas, Ohio, Tennessee and Indiana continue to battle ice, cold weather and power outages. The Red Cross has opened shelters in all of those states where people can escape the cold, get a warm meal, see a Red Cross nurse and spend some time with neighbors in the comfort and warmth.

If you would like to help, you can make a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and help the Red Cross provide shelter and food to those affected by this storm and other disasters. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or visit www.redcross.org to make your contribution. You can also send your gift to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC20013.

For more information on winter storm and power loss safety, visit www.redcross.org. Keep up with Red Cross response to winter weather in the Disaster Online Newsroom.

About the American Red Cross:

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the Hurricanes of 2008, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org


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SOURCE American Red Cross
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