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American Red Cross of Bay Area
January 6, 2008
The American Red Cross Bay Area is urging residents affected by power outages to shelter in place in their homes through the weekend if they are not able stay with friends or families following the storms that first moved into the Bay Area on January 4. The Red Cross does not currently have shelters in operation in the Bay Area; however, the organization has been supporting families whose homes were made uninhabitable by the storms, as well as working closely with local officials on plans to deliver services should evacuations or shelters be required. The Red Cross will continue to monitor the situation and work with local officials and agencies to develop plans to provide services to affected communities if the power remains out for more than 72 hours.
Residents who are in a life-threatening situation due to power outages should contact local emergency response by dialing 911. Those who require electricity to power medical devices or other life-sustaining equipment should contact their physicians or local hospitals for advice. Some fire departments are also offering to recharge devices. Residents should contact their local fire departments’ non-emergency lines for additional information.
Any residents who suffered significant damage to their homes and are unable to remain safely in their homes may contact the Red Cross at 1-888-4-HELP-BAY for emergency assistance.
Following are some additional tips for residents still affected by power outages:
  • If you are cold, put on layers of warm clothing and use blankets. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Avoid using your oven as a source of heat.
  • Using candles for emergency lighting can be dangerous. Only use a flashlight for emergency lighting.
  • Use the phone for emergencies only. Listening to a portable radio can provide the latest information.
  • Do not call 911 for information. Only call 911 to report a life-threatening emergency.
  • Leave the doors of your refrigerator and freezer closed to keep your food as fresh as possible. If you must eat food that was refrigerated or frozen, check it carefully for signs of spoilage
  • Turn off or disconnect any appliances, equipment or electronics you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, it may come back with momentary surges or spikes that can damage equipment such as computers and motors in appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators, washers or furnaces.
About the American Red Cross Bay Area
Governed by volunteers and supported by community donations, your American Red Cross Bay Area helps residents in six counties prepare for disaster, recover from them and connect U.S. military families torn apart by war, terrorism and natural tragedy. The American Red Cross’s more than 3,000 personnel, 97 percent of which are volunteers, are all dedicated to saving lives. Every year, ARCBA mobilizes relief to families affected by more than 500 disasters, trains more than 80,000 people in life-saving and preparedness skills, and exchanges hundreds of emergency messages for military, war and disaster-stricken families. Call 1-888-4-HELP-BAY or visit www.redcrossbayarea.org to learn more. The Red Cross provides nearly half the Bay Area’s blood supply. Call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543) today to schedule your lifesaving donation. 

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