Red Cross responds to Sandy
The American Red Cross of the Lehigh Valley opened an evacuation shelter at UGI, 2121 City Line Road, Bethlehem, for people needing to leave their homes during the weather events related to Hurricane Sandy.
Cots and blankets, meals and emotional care will be provided.
Anyone evacuating to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family, including prescriptions and emergency medications; foods that meet unusual dietary requirements; identification to show residence is in affected area and important personal documents; extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items; supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys; and special items for family members who are elderly or disabled.
The Red Cross is working with County Animal Response Teams and other organizations to provide pet sheltering to colocate with the shelter. Pet owners are encouraged to bring a leash, food, water and other supplies.
Residents are urged to continue listening to the radio for weather updates.
People should download the free Red Cross Hurricane and First Aid apps for mobile devices to have emergency information at their fingertips.
The Hurricane App keeps people up-to-date on the situation with weather alerts, locations of Red Cross shelters and features a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm.
The "I'm Safe" button lets someone use social media sites to tell family and friends they are OK.
The First Aid app includes expert advice for everyday emergencies. The apps can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.
"This will be a large, costly relief response and we need help now," national Red Cross officials said. "People can help by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief online, by text or by phone."
Donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy.
To donate, people can visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a donation.
Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
Please give blood. The storm has already caused the cancellation of Red Cross blood drives in the region and more cancellations are expected.
This has resulted in the loss of several hundred units of blood and platelets so far. The Red Cross has shipped blood products to hospitals in the affected area in advance of the storm as patients will still need blood and platelets despite the weather.
If anyone is eligible, especially in places not affected by the storm, they are asked to please schedule a blood donation now.
To schedule a blood donation or get more information about giving blood, go to redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Blood donors must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health.
Donors should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of photo ID.
To contact the Red Cross in Berks and Schuylkill counties, call 610-375-4383; in the Greater Lehigh Valley, call 610-865-4400.
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, visit redcross.org.