Island Harvest Partners with American Red Cross to Provide Emergency Services for Upcoming Storm

Island Harvest also ready to assist Nassau and Suffolk Offices of Emergency Management

LONG ISLAND, NY — January 26, 2015 — With a crippling winter storm hanging in the balance, Island Harvest Food Bank, Long Island’s largest hunger relief organization, is partnering with the American Red Cross to provide storm-related emergency food services to Long Island residents.  In regard to extreme weather, preparedness can make the difference between life and death. Island Harvest is urging Long Islanders to take the necessary action steps to prepare and remain safe during the upcoming storm. In addition, Island Harvest is available as a resource to assist the Offices of Emergency Management in Nassau and Suffolk counties should the need arise.

Island Harvest is advising Long Islanders to prepare for the storm, heed warnings,  stay up-to-date on weather reports and avoid unnecessary travel,” said Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO of Island Harvest. “As a disaster relief organization, Island Harvest is standing at the ready to assist American Red Cross in anyway necessary during this weather emergency.”

Below are tips from the American Red Cross to help residents stay safe:

COLD WEATHER/WINTER STORM SAFETY 

  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information on snow storms and blizzards from the National Weather Service (NWS).
  • Avoid driving when conditions include sleet, freezing rain, snow or dense fog.
  • If travel is necessary, make sure you have a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle which includes: shovel, blanket, flashlight, water, snacks, first aid kit, extra batteries, sack of sand or cat litter.
  • Keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Before tackling strenuous tasks in cold temperatures, consider your physical condition, the weather factors and the nature of the task.
  • When shoveling snow, take frequent breaks to avoid risk of injury or cardiac arrest.
  • Protect yourself from frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in several layers. Stay indoors, if possible.
  • Bring pets inside during winter weather.
  • Make sure coats, gloves or mittens, hats, boots and warm clothing are available for all household members, along with extra blankets.
  • Eat regular meals and stay hydrated, but avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.

HOME HEATING SAFETY Heating fires are the second leading cause of home fires.                          

  • 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.
  • If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Keep children and pets away from m space heaters.
  • Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
  • Keep fire in your fireplace by using a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.  

POWER OUTAGE If the power goes out, people should:

  • Use flashlights for light, not candles.
  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Check refrigerated food for spoilage and if in doubt, throw it out. Your refrigerator will keep cold for about 4 hours. If the freezer is full, it will keep its temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Have coolers on hand and surround your food with ice in the cooler or refrigerator to keep food cold for a longer period of time. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
  • Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment and any appliances, equipment or electronics to avoid damaging them when the power is restored.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel as traffic lights will be out and roads congested.
  • Watch animals and keep them under your direct control.

USING A GENERATOR

If someone is planning to use a generator, never use it indoors, including in a garage, carport, basement, crawlspace or other area, even with ventilation. Generators put off carbon monoxide fumes, which can be deadly.

For more information on emergency preparedness, visit www.redcross.org/prepare and www.islandharvest.org    

About Island Harvest

Long Island’s largest hunger relief organization, Island Harvest Food Bank  provides food and non-food items for people who are hungry and in need, giving them a voice to help them transition from uncertainty to stability. Island Harvest’s mission is to end hunger and reduce food waste on Long Island through efficient food and product collection and distribution systems; enhanced hunger awareness and nutrition education programs, job training, targeted services for specific populations, and outreach and advocacy activities and initiatives. Island Harvest is the region’s lead agency in emergency response readiness for food and product distribution and support and is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. For more information visit www.islandharvest.org.

About the American Red Cross

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, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @LIRedCross.

 

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Contact: Amanda Cunningham
HLD Communications
516-629-3337 (office)
516-729-1278 (cell)
acunningham@hldpr.com

 

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