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Residents could be without natural gas, or heat for upwards of 24 hours; warming center opened by Red Cross in Hammondsport

Officials in Steuben County have opened up a warming center at the Hammondsport Volunteer Fire Station for those impacted by the natural gas outage in the Town of Wayne.

According to Steuben County Emergency Services Director Tim Marsh, the center has been set up following a NYSEG report that upwards of 350 households are without heat after a natural gas system malfunction.

NYSEG says that the outage could last as long as 24 hours.

Marshall urged residents to take advantage of the Hammondsport fire station’s warming center, which will be staffed by the American Red Cross. It’s located on State Route 54 in Hammondsport. “The wind chill advisory is still in effect until 7 p.m. on Monday,” Marshall said. “Temperatures are still in the single-digits and will drop significantly tonight.”

Marshall said that residents needing transportation to the warming center in Hammondsport should call the Wayne Fire Department at (607) 292-3380.

The American Red Cross offered the following tips as cold weather grips the region:

  • Hazards during winter storms can include snow, dangerously low temperatures, strong winds and freezing rain. These hazards can be life-threatening conditions. The American Red Cross has safety tips to help keep you and your household members safe.
  • Make sure you are prepared with proper clothing, supplies and contingency plans to help you get through a severe weather event.
  • At a minimum, have the following basic items on hand:

    • Water – one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2 week supply for home)
    • Food – non-perishable, easy to prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2 week supply for home)
    • Flashlight
    • Battery-powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio if possible)
    • Extra batteries
    • First aid kit, medications (7-day supply) and medical items
    • Extra cash (in case ATMs and credit card machines are not working)
    • Winterize your kit by adding blankets, boots, hats and gloves.
  • Consider the needs of all family and household members and customize your kit with additional items:

    • Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, eye-glasses or pure optical contact lenses)
    • Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food and diapers)
    • Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
    • Make sure to include games and activities for children (toys, coloring book) and adults (playing cards)
  • Keep an emergency kit in your car.
  • Include much of what you keep in your home emergency kit including water, snacks, a blanket, a flashlight and a first aid kit. Sand or kitty litter, a shovel, snowbrush and window scraper are also recommended.
  • Use Red Cross resources to get you through the storm.
  • Download the Red Cross First Aid App for instant access to expert advice on injuries, heart attacks, cold weather emergencies and more. Our Emergency App provides tips and weather alerts. (Both apps are free and available at redcross.org/apps.)

Make a plan

  • Develop a family communication plan so everyone will know how to contact each other in an emergency and where to meet if necessary.
  • Choose 2 places to meet after a disaster:

o   One right outside your home, in case of a sudden emergency, like a fire.

o   One outside of your neighborhood, in case you can’t return home or are asked to evacuate during a disaster or other emergency.

Be informed

  • Listen to warnings from local authorities regarding the weather forecast.

During severe weather

  • Heat your home safely.
  • Put space heaters 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 at least three feet away.
  • Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended
  • Stay at home unless during severe weather unless you absolutely have to venture out.
  • If you have to go outdoors, dress in layers of lightweight clothing.
  • Watch out for signs of signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Signs include shaking uncontrollably, getting extremely tired, turning very pale or getting numb fingers, toes, ears or nose.
  • Go inside immediately if any of these signs occur. Call 9-1-1 if signs are severe.
  • Before tackling strenuous tasks in extremely cold weather, consider your physical condition, weather factors and the nature of the task.

After the storm

  • Stay with family or friends or go to a public shelter if you lose power during extremely cold weather.
  • Use flashlights instead of candles.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will maintain its temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Never use a generator inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area.

In addition to downloading our apps, take a Red Cross First Aid and CPR course so you’ll know how to respond to emergencies in case help is delayed.

A variety of severe weather tips are available at redcross.org.

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