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Red Cross Offers Warmth, Shelter as Storm Cuts Power Across the Country
Date:1/28/2009

BLOOD DONATIONS DOWN; CALL OUT FOR BLOOD DONORS

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross provided warmth and shelter for almost 500 people overnight whose homes were without power from the winter storm that has pummeled its way across the eastern half of the country. According to news reports, the storm has been blamed for 19 deaths and numerous injuries as it moves into the Northeast, bringing with it additional warnings of power outages from the ice and snow.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090108/RedCrossLOGO)

Officials in many of the affected areas say it may be days until power can be restored. Winter storm warnings were posted from Arkansas to Maine.

Red Cross opened 44 shelters Tuesday in Kentucky, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Illinois and Indiana. As the storm moves into the Northeast, officials are warning of additional power outages related to the storm.

The storm has also kept residents away from Red Cross blood drives due to the extremely hazardous traveling conditions. Red Cross is asking those who can give blood to make an appointment by visiting www.givelife.org or by calling 1-800-GIVE LIFE. You must be at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds to give blood. Some states allow 16-year-olds to donate with parental consent. If you have given blood before, it must be 56 days since your last donation.

Red Cross offers the following safety tips for winter storms and power losses:

  • Avoid unnecessary travel. Avoid driving and other travel until conditions improve.
  • Stay indoors during the storm.
  • Walk carefully on snowy, icy sidewalks.
  • If you shovel snow, be extremely careful. Take frequent breaks and avoid overexertion.
  • Use only a flashlight for emergency lighting. Do not use candles.
  • Turn off electrical equipment you were using when your power went out.
  • Avoid opening your refrigerator and freezer.
  • If you are using a generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect the generator to your home's electrical system.
  • Do not run your generator inside your home or garage.

You can get more information on winter storm and power loss safety by visiting www.redcross.org.

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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