Red Cross taking extra steps ahead of storm - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Red Cross taking extra steps ahead of storm

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Thursday it was the calm before the ice storm, but the Mid-South Red Cross has been taking the extra steps the whole week to prepare to handle a storm on Friday similar to the one they saw one decade ago.

"When something like this happens, we're watching really carefully," said Jeana Bailley, Disaster Program Manager.

The Red Cross is calling in their leadership volunteers to manage tasks including handling emergency calls and logistics if shelters need to be opened.

"We call in our leadership volunteers and they begin to coordinate their teams for the different areas or different activities that they might be doing," said Bailley, "So we have shelter leadership volunteers and shelter volunteers, people who serve food."

The supplies are in house, but the Red Cross is waiting until Shelby County and surrounding county governments express the need for shelters.

"It really will depend on the effects of the storm. It hasn't come yet so we really don't know at this point what might be needed, so if we have people that have been displaced from their homes because of the storm that's when we'll look for sheltering," said Bailley.

Just as the Memphis Red Cross is prepared, they say the public needs to prepare and stay in their homes. If there is a mass power outage, shelters may not be able to receive power either.

"Power up now," said Bailley, "If you have something that requires battery – your phone, your flashlight, your computers, whatever you might want – power up; charge those batteries now."

The Mid-South Red Cross wants the public in the counties they serve to keep some tips in mind to be self-sufficient during the storm:

  • Stay inside your house
  • Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm, even hats and gloves
  • Drip faucets to prevent pipes from freezing
  • Do not use your oven to warm your house. If you use space heaters, keep them three feet away from anything flammable including blankets and furniture.
  • If the power goes out, your freezer and refrigerator is good for four hours after but make sure to have some non-perishable food available and cook some ahead of time that will not perish.
  • Bring in firewood if you can safely make a fire.

If you do need the Red Cross or you want to volunteer with them, call them at 901-726-1690 or reach them on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

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