Red Cross: Be prepared, don't rely on shelters - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

Red Cross: Be prepared, don't rely on shelters

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From shelters to blizzard action plans, the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Red Cross is on alert.

"We have all of our teams ready to be able to respond, to open shelters. As we get requested to open up shelters throughout the state, we have our volunteers ready," said Elizabeth McDonald, director of emergency services.

McDonald said shelters should be an absolute last resort. She said don't rely on them for safety during the storm.

"We expect families to make sure they have extra blankets and make sure they have hats and gloves and the things that we need because most folks don't tend to leave until if the power goes out, and during that time, pretty much, it's going to be unsafe for people to be on the roads," she said.

The Red Cross is urging people to put together an emergency supply kit, complete with non-perishable food, a can opener if needed, cash in case the ATMs aren't working, batteries of all sizes and medicine.

McDonald said don't rely on candles and to make sure you have flashlights handy.

And just in case you are on the road, you should have an emergency supply kit in your car with some of those similar items.

Officials from the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency are asking people to get necessary errands done by noon Friday, and then be off the road.

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