published Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Red Cross shelter remains open to help those without power

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    The American Red Cross

Disaster volunteers at the Greater Chattanooga Area American Red Cross will keep their storm shelter, located at Red Bank Baptist Church on Dayton Boulevard, open for at least the next 24 hours, according to a news release.

“We want to be sure that anyone who is still without power this evening will have a warm, safe place to stay,” Barbara Alexander, chapter CEO, said in the news release. “I am proud of our trained disaster volunteers who are working 12 hour shifts caring for those in need.”

Thousands of area residents were without power Monday as a fierce storm raced across the region. High winds downed power lines, ripped trees from their roots, damaged roofs and crushed cars.

The Red Cross provided shelter Monday night to a family of six and a 96-year-old woman, she said. The organization is making preparations to handle more, Alexander said.

Red Cross officials also said residents should take steps to be prepared for emergencies such as Monday’s storm.  

“People should be informed about what types of disasters are most likely to occur where they live,” officials said. “Here in Chattanooga, we deal mostly with storm-related emergencies due to wind, rain and flooding.”

The three keys to preparedness are: to build a kit, make a plan, and be informed, the news release stated. An emergency preparedness kit should include enough supplies for at least three days. Supplies should include water (one gallon, per person, per day), nonperishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, a 7-day supply of medications, a multi-purpose tool, sanitation and personal hygiene items and copies of important personal documents.

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