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NWS Snow

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for parts of Eastern PA through Thursday morning as a major coastal storm is forecast to produce significant impacts: heavy/wet snow, gusty winds, power outages, ice and hazardous travel.

WINTER SAFETY TIPS

The Red Cross has steps people should follow to stay safe during severe winter weather:

  • Wear layers of clothing, a hat, mittens and waterproof, insulated boots.
  • Be careful when tackling strenuous tasks like shoveling snow in cold temperatures.
  • Check on your neighbors, especially elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.
  • Bring pets 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.
  • Watch for hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia symptoms include confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Frostbite symptoms include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.

WINTER TRAVEL SAFETY

Stay off the road if possible during severe weather. If you have to drive in winter weather, follow these tips:

  • Make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road.
  • Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.
  • Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.
  • Don’t pass snow plows.
  • Ramps, bridges and overpasses freeze before roadways.

PREVENT HOME FIRES

With the cold temperatures there is often a rise in the number of home fires. Follow these tips to help prevent a fire in your home:

  • Keep all potential sources of fuel paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs – at least three feet away from sources of heat.
  • Never leave portable heaters and fireplaces unattended.
  • Place space heaters on a level, hard and nonflammable surface. Keep children and pets away from space heaters. Look for models that shut off automatically if the heater falls over.
  • Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
  • Keep fire in your fireplace by using a glass or metal fire screen.

WEDNESDAY MARCH 7

The second Nor’easter in less than a week struck Eastern Pennsylvania today, delivering another round of heavy, wet snow. The weight of that snow has led to additional power outages across the region. The Red Cross is working with local officials to determine if additional shelters will be required due to this new round of power outages.

Last night about 100 people spent the night in Red Cross and partner shelters that remain open in the Poconos. The shelters are providing warm meals, a safe place to sleep and emotional support for those with immediate, disaster-caused needs. Hot showers and charging stations are also available. Current Red Cross shelters are located at:

Monroe County: Stroudsburg High School, 1100 W. Main St., Stroudsburg, PA

Pike County: Dingman Township V.F.D., 680 Log Tavern Rd., Milford, PA

Anyone coming to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family:

  • Prescriptions and emergency medications
  • Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements
  • Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items
  • Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys
  • Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled
  • Chargers for any electronic devices you bring with you
  • Books, games and other ways to entertain your family and yourself
  • Food, crate, and other supplies to care for your pet

In addition, the Red Cross is also supporting several partner-run shelters and daytime warming centers throughout all of Eastern Pennsylvania. For warming center locations near you, contact your municipality or county emergency management agency.

Power outages are expected to last for at least a few more days in some places. The Red Cross has some important safety tips to keep you and your family safe as you wait for the lights to come back on.

DRIVING IN WINTER WEATHER
While the Red Cross encourages you to stay off the road if possible, if you have to drive in snow, follow these tips about how to drive safely during a winter storm and what to do if you become stuck in your vehicle:

  • Fill the vehicle’s gas tank and clean the lights and windows to help you see.
  • Pay attention to the weather forecast. Before you leave, let someone know where you are going, the route you plan to take, and when you expect to get there. If your car gets stuck, help can be sent along your predetermined route.
  • If you have to drive, make sure everyone has their seat belts on and give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
  • Don’t follow other vehicles too closely. Sudden stops are difficult on snowy roadways.
  • Don’t use cruise control when driving in winter weather.
  • Don’t pass snow plows.
  • Know that ramps, bridges and overpasses will freeze before roadways.

POWER OUTAGE

  • Use flash lights in the dark, not candles. Candles can start fires.
  • If you are using a generator be sure you understand the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and how touse generators safely. Never use a generator indoors or in a garage. It must be kept outside in a well-ventilated area.
  • Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.
  • Turn off or disconnect any appliances (like stoves), equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment.
  • Leave one light turned on so you’ll know when the power comes back on.

SPACE HEATERS

  • If using a space heater powered by a generator, place the heater on a level, hard and nonflammable surface in the home.
  • Keep all potential sources of fuel like paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves, or fireplaces.
  • Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended. Turn off space heaters and make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before leaving home.

 

DOZENS OF BLOOD DRIVES CANCELED

Inclement weather and power outages in March have caused blood drive cancelations that have resulted in thousands of units of blood and platelets to go uncollected throughout the Eastern U.S. including more than 1,000 units in our region.  Every day in Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the Red Cross needs to collect close to 800 units of blood and platelets—regardless of the weather—in order to meet the needs of patients. Donors of all blood types are encouraged to give as soon as they are able to help ensure hospitals have an adequate supply of blood and platelets. To find a donation site near you, visit redcrossblood.org, call 1-800-REDCROSS or download the free Blood Donor App.

 

Sunday, March 4

The impacts of Friday’s Nor’easter continue to be felt across Eastern Pennsylvania. More than 100,000 are still without power. In response, the American Red Cross has opened several shelters across the region.

Monroe County: Shelter open at Stroudsburg High School, 1100 W. Main St., Stroudsburg, PA

 Montgomery County: Pottstown YMCA, 724 N. Adams. St. Pottstown, PA

 Pike County:    Shelter open at Dingman Township V.F.D., 680 Log Tavern Rd., Milford, PA

Shelter open at Central Volunteer Fire Department, 574 Westcolang Rd., Hawley, PA

 In addition, the Red Cross is also supporting several partner-run shelters and warming centers, including several in Northampton County. Many other communities have also announced the opening of warming centers and charging stations for those without power. For warming center locations near you, contact your municipality or county emergency management agency.

 Power outages are expected to last for a couple of more days in some places. The Red Cross has these important safety tips to keep you and your family safe in the aftermath of the Nor’easter.

POWER OUTAGE

  • Use flash lights in the dark, not candles. Candles can start fires.
  • If you are using a generator be sure you understand the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and how to use generators safely. Never use a generator indoors or in a garage. It must be kept outside in a well-ventilated area.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. If it looks like the power outage will continue beyond a day, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items.
  • Keep food in a dry, cool spot and keep it covered at all times.
  • Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.
  • Turn off or disconnect any appliances (like stoves), equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment.
  • Leave one light turned on so you’ll know when the power comes back on.

SPACE HEATERS

  • If using a space heater powered by a generator, place the heater on a level, hard and nonflammable surface in the home.
  • Keep all potential sources of fuel like paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves, or fireplaces.
  • Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended. Turn off space heaters and make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before leaving home.
  • Keep children and pets away from space heaters.

 

photo 2Posted 2/28/14 3pm

Officially, winter does not end until March 19th and the winter season is really hanging on this year.
The Philadelphia region is gearing up for yet another major winter storm, complete with snow and possible ice accumulations.

The American Red Cross
Southeastern Pennsylvania stands ready to respond to whatever comes our way. Supplies and staff are ready in case shelters are needed. Red Cross workers will be in contact with emergency management officials throughout the region leading up to, during and after the storm. The Regional Disaster Coordination Center at Red Cross headquarters in Philadelphia will continue to answer calls 24-hours a day and dispatch volunteers to respond to the everyday disasters the Red Cross handles even when there isn’t a winter storm.

For now, the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania urges residents in the area to prepare now for the weather ahead. Be sure to have enough water and food on hand in case you cannot leave your home for an extended time. Here are some links to more tips on how to prepare and respond during the storm:

Winter Safety Tips including what items to have in your home and vehicle before a storm hits.

Tips on protecting your pets during a winter storm, please don’t forget your pets.

Tips to prevent or thaw frozen pipes in your home.

rco_blog_img_MarchSnow

Take time to download and learn more about the Red Cross mobile Apps. The first aid app, in particular could come in handy during and after a snowstorm. Any of the disaster apps like the hurricane app will provide you with shelter information, if needed.

As always, look for up to date information about responses, shelters and even tips by following our official twitter feed:  @redcrossphilly