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Red Cross assists those affected by Midwest Tornadoes

The American Red Cross Northwest Ohio Region is responding to provide assistance to people affected by Sunday night’s Midwest Tornadoes. Red Cross staff and volunteers have responded to calls for help in Lucas, Putnam and Wood Counties, including the hard hit community of Cloverdale. 

Immediate Red Cross assistance is based on an individual’s needs and typically includes food, clothing, comfort kits, medical or prescription assistance, emotional support and temporary shelter. In the next few days, Red Cross volunteers will be available to provide direct assistance0 for items such as bedding and support with security deposit or rent as clients have need. 

POWER OUTAGES

Sudden power outages can be frustrating and troublesome, especially when they last a long time. For prolonged power outages there are steps people can take to minimize food loss and to keep all members of the household as comfortable as possible. 

•Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. First use perishable food from the refrigerator. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for about 4 hours.
•Then use food from the freezer. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed.
•Use non-perishable foods and staples after using food from the refrigerator and freezer.
•If it looks like the power outage will continue beyond a day, prepare a cooler with ice for 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 in use when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment.
•Leave one light turned on to know when the power comes back on.
•Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate the unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

ALTERNATIVE HEATING

As temperatures continue to plummet and some are without power, alternative heating sources (kerosene heaters, space heaters) are often used. Alternative heating is the second leading cause of home fires in the U.S. The Red Cross recommends people follow these tips to heat their homes safety as they wait for power to be restored: 

•Keep all potential sources of fuel like paper, clothing, bedding 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 going to bed or leaving home.
•When using a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface, not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Keep children and pets away from them.
•When buying a space heater, look for models that shut off automatically if the heater falls over as another safety measure.
•Never use a cooking range or oven to heat the home.
•Keep fire in the fireplace by using a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs. 

HELP NOW

To help people affected by the Midwest tornadoes, as well as countless other crises, people can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. People can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to any local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

The Red Cross will continue to assess the situation and be available to respond should conditions worsen over the next few days. Residents requiring assistance at this time can call 419-329-6060. For more information on the local Red Cross response, please follow the American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio on Facebook and Twitter.

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