HARRISBURG – The American Red Cross is responding throughout central Pennsylvania, as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the Commonwealth.
The ARC will be opening shelters at the following central Pennsylvania locations:
• Adams County: Gettysburg Senior High School, 1300 Old Harrisburg Rd., Gettysburg, PA 17325
• Blair County: Altoona School District Junior High School, 1400 Seventh Ave., Altoona, PA 16601
• Centre County: Bald Eagle Area High School, 751 South Eagle Valley Rd., Wingate, PA 16823
• Clinton County: Renovo Fire Company, 230 Eleventh St., Renova, PA 17764
• Cumberland County: Silver Spring Presbyterian Church, 444 Silver Spring Rd., Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
• Dauphin County: Harrisburg High School (John Harris), 2451 Market St., Harrisburg, PA 17103
• Franklin County: Salem United Brethren Church, 4349 Letterkenny Rd., Chambersburg, PA 17201
• Huntingdon County: Cassville United Methodist Church, 30 Maple St,, Cassville, PA 16623
• Lancaster County: Manheim Township Middle School, 150 School Rd., Lancaster PA 17601
• Lebanon County: Lebanon Valley Expo Center, 80 Rocherty Rd., Rocherty, PA 17042
• Lycoming County: New Covenant United Church of Christ, 212 E. Third St., Williamsport, PA 17701
• Northumberland County: Shamokin High School, 2000 W. State St., Coal Township, PA 17866
• Snyder County: Selinsgrove Area Middle School, 401 N. 18th St., Selinsgrove, PA 17870
• Tioga County: Knoxville-Deerfield Volunteer Fire Company, 105 Case St., Knoxville, PA 16928
• Union County: Donald H. Eichhorn Middle School, 2057 Washington Ave., Lewisburg, PA 17837
• York County: Northern High School, 653 S. Baltimore St., Dillsburg, PA 17019
• York County: York County School of Technology, 2179 S. Queen St., York, PA 17402
The shelters will open Monday at 12 p.m., except for locations in school buildings, where classes are in session. If schools are in session, the shelter will open at 3 p.m. If classes are cancelled, the shelter will open at 12 p.m.
Those coming to an ARC shelter should bring the following with them: identification, any medicines and medical equipment, pillows, towels, blankets, personal care items, bathrobes, change of clothes, books/magazines, personal care items, etc. For children and infants, please also bring infant supplies, such as formula and diapers and items to comfort and entertain the children. It is strongly suggested that you arrive as early as possible.
The large and powerful storm could affect as many as 60 million people in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, and the ARC has workers and relief supplies in place to provide help to people in the path of Sandy.
The effects of the storm are already being felt with 128 people spending Saturday night in ARC shelters in North Carolina and Virginia. ARC workers were preparing to open and support more shelters yesterday as the storm moved northward.
“This storm is dangerous and it’s critical to follow the advice of local emergency officials. If people are told to evacuate, they need to do it,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the ARC. “The ARC has shelters open and will be opening more throughout the day. Hundreds of disaster workers are ready with relief supplies and emergency vehicles in place to help.”
To find shelter, people can download the Red Cross Hurricane app, visit the Red Cross Web site, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or check local media outlets. They should also register on the Red Cross Safe and Well Web site, a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies. To register, visit RedCross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). This site also connects with the Twitter and Facebook accounts of users.
Almost 100 ARC emergency vehicles are mobilizing to distribute meals and relief supplies after the storm passes. Thousands of ready-to-eat meals and relief supplies, such as cots and blankets are also being sent into the region.
How to Help
This will be a large, costly relief response. 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 $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to the local Red Cross office or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
Please Give Blood
The storm has already caused the cancellation of ARC 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 ARC 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, people can visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To give blood, someone must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health.
The ARC urges everyone to make their final storm preparations. Sandy is expected to have a huge impact in the Mid-Atlantic region, stretching north to New England and toward the Midwest. Millions of people could lose power for several days. Gale force winds are expected, accompanied by several inches of rain throughout the storm. Flooding could occur as far west as parts of Ohio. In areas like West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina, several feet of snow could occur.
Important information about how to get ready for the storm – steps to take for emergencies like flooding, power outages, even winter weather – is available on the ARC Web site. Videos are also available to help people get prepared, including information on severe weather preparedness and how to get ready for winter weather.
Red Cross Apps
People should download the free ARC 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 ARC 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. And it’s available in Spanish by changing the language setting on someone’s smart phone to Spanish before downloading. 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 ARC.
Follow the ARC on Twitter at RedCrossWPA for news and updates.
About the American Red Cross Western Pennsylvania Region:
The American Red Cross in Southwestern Pennsylvania serves more than 3.6 million people in 25 counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Somerset, Venango, Warren, Washington and Westmoreland. Locally, the Red Cross provides relief to the victims of approximately 1,000 disasters each year, facilitates vital emergency communications between military members of their loved ones here at home, and trains nearly 118,000 individuals in vital lifesaving skills such as CPR and First Aid. The American Red Cross is not a government agency, nor does it receive funding from its national headquarters except during times of large-scale disasters. It is only through the generosity of the people of Western Pennsylvania that the local Red Cross is able to fulfill its mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergenciesprevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergenciesprevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergenciesprevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies. For more information, please visit RedCross.org or join our blog at RedCrossWPA.wordpress.com.