Massive Relief Response Continues to Help Sandy’s Victims
WASHINGTON, Tuesday, November 6, 2012 — The American Red Cross urges anyone who may be in the path of the Nor’Easter headed up the coast to get ready for the storm now.
Weather experts predict this new storm will bring heavy rain, strong winds and snow Wednesday and Thursday to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, along with cold temperatures and the possibility of new power outages. Many areas already affected by Superstorm Sandy could be impacted by this new storm.
ADVICE FOR PEOPLE AFFECTED BY SANDY The Red Cross has sent thousands of blankets and hand warmers to New York and New Jersey, and will be supporting some warming centers in the area. Those who need a safe place to go during the new storm are encouraged to come to a Red Cross shelter. In New York City, people can call 3-1-1 or visit www.nyc.gov for a list of both day and night-time warming centers. It’s important for people to check on their neighbors, share what they have and take care of each other as this new storm approaches.
If someone is staying in their home without power, they should:
- Gather everyone, including pets, in one room – a small, well-insulated room with few windows. A room facing south is warmer. Block this room off and put cardboard and blankets over the windows at night to minimize heat loss. If you have hardwood floors, add a carpet or blanket.
- Dress in thin layers instead of bulky garments. Wear a hat, gloves, scarf and heavy socks. Wrap oneself in blankets if needed. Use hand and feet warmers if available.
- At bedtime, get under layers of blankets and wear layer layers of clothing and a hat.
FLOODING Areas already devastated along the coast could see new flooding from storm surges brought on by the Nor’easter. People should take the following steps if threatened by flooding:
- Stay away from floodwaters. If someone comes upon water above their ankles or a flooded road, turn around and go another way.
- Keep children away from the water.
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to see flood danger.
- Keep away from loose or downed power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
- Stay out of any building that has water around it.
GENERAL SAFETY INFORMATION This new storm could cause additional power outages, especially in areas where trees are already weakened by Sandy. If possible, people who may be in the Nor’easter’s path should fill their gas tanks now and get extra cash to keep on hand because if the power goes out, gas stations can’t pump gas and ATMs won’t work.
Other steps to take before the storm arrives are:
- Bring anything inside that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture, etc.).
- Keep up-to-date about the storm’s progress and find out about your community’s disaster response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs and make plans for your pets.
- Build or restock disaster supply kits now. Replace or restock items as needed. These supplies should include water and non-perishable food for each person in the home, a flashlight and extra batteries, medications and medical items, a first aid kit, and a battery-powered or hand crank radio.
COLD WEATHER Temperatures are expected to drop as the storm moves up the coast. People should take the following steps:
- Make sure coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and warm clothing are available for all household members, along with extra blankets.
- Eat regular meals and stay hydrated, but avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
- Go to a designated public shelter if your home is without power or heat during periods of extreme cold.
POWER OUTAGE If the power goes out, people should:
- Use flashlights for light, not candles.
- Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Check refrigerated food for spoilage and if in doubt, throw it out. Your refrigerator will keep cold for about 4 hours. If the freezer is full, it will keep its temperature for about 48 hours.
- Have coolers on hand and surround your food with ice in the cooler or refrigerator to keep food cold for a longer period of time. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
- Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment and any appliances, equipment or electronics to avoid damaging them when the power is restored.
- Avoid unnecessary travel as traffic lights will be out and roads congested.
- Watch animals and keep them under your direct control.
USING A GENERATOR If someone is planning to use a generator, never use it indoors, including in a garage, carport, basement, crawlspace or other area, even with ventilation. Generators put off carbon monoxide fumes, which can be deadly. Full details are available at the link above.
RELIEF RESPONSE The Red Cross has mobilized the full resources of the organization to help people affected by Sandy. The entire fleet of response vehicles is activated and more than 5,400 disaster workers are supporting shelters, providing people with food and water and driving through neighborhoods to hand out food and supplies. To date, the Red Cross has served more than 1.6 million meals and snacks, provided more than 57,200 overnight stays, distributed more than 91,600 relief items and provided more than 23,900 health services and emotional support contacts.
The response to Sandy is likely to be the biggest Red Cross response in the U.S. in the past five years.
To help, visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. People can also use the “donate” feature on the free Red Cross Apps to support the Red Cross relief response.
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 or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.