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Red Cross Urges Safety in Wake of Hurricane Ike
Date:9/14/2008

, check for sagging ceilings, weak floors and other structural damage.

-- Air out -- Open windows and doors to air out a home for at least 30 minutes before entering. Mold, which grows quickly after flooding, often smells musty or has a stench. If inhaled, mold can cause an asthma attack, stuffy nose, irritated eyes, wheezing or skin irritation. Flood waters can also carry contaminants which decay and release odors.

-- Check for gas -- Use a flashlight. Do not use an open flame, candles or lighter. If you smell gas, leave the building immediately and call the fire department or utility company.

-- Electricity -- Turn off the power or circuit breaker with a dry stick to prevent shock while inspecting for damage. Wait until appliances are thoroughly dry before turning them on.

-- Sewer and water -- If sewers have overflowed or water supplies have been contaminated, do not run water faucets or flush toilets. Assume that anything touched by floodwaters is contaminated. Wear gloves and wash hands or use antiseptic gel frequently. Disinfect everything floodwaters have touched.

For those directly affected by the disaster, registering on the Safe and Well Web site allows them to let loved ones to know that they are safe. The site is accessible at http://www.redcross.org. If internet access is not possible, they can call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) to register and follow the prompts for disaster information.

As the Red Cross continues helping individuals and families battered by the 2008 storms and hurricanes, a national fundraising campaign has been launched to raise an initial $100 million to fill a Disaster Relief Fund depleted after an active year of disasters. The Disaster Relief Fund allows the Red Cross to provide emergency assistance to help victims of disasters meet their immediate needs for food, shelter, counseling and other critical services.

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SOURCE American Red Cross
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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