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Posted on: June 1, 2017

STORM DAMAGE - MORNING UPDATE 5.31.17

Shelby County Health Department

Check daily on those who live alone

  • Give special attention to the elderly and the disabled.

Food Safety 

  • The Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) reminds residents to throw out ALL refrigerated, perishable foods if power was out for more than four (4) hours. Perishable foods include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt) and leftovers.
  • If the freezer door remained closed, and your power was restored in less than 24 hours (or 48 hours for a full freezer), your items may be safe. Check each package of food to determine its safety. You can’t rely on appearance or odor. If the food still contains ice crystals or is 40° F or below, it is safe to refreeze or cook. If there are no ice crystals, you will need to cook and consume or discard the items.

Prepare for Hot Weather

  • If you are outside, or in your home without power, for an extended time, the Shelby County Health Department reminds residents to take the following precautions:
    • Drink 2-4 glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour.
    • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing when outdoors.
    • Limit your physical activity to morning and evening hours.
    • Start slowly and pick up the pace gradually.
    • Rest often in shady areas.
    • Protect yourself by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher.
  • If you don’t have power in your home, consider visiting a shopping mall, public library, or community center to keep cool during daytime hours. An emergency shelter is also available at the Orange Mound Community Center.
  • Take extra precautions with those at higher risk for developing heat related illnesses:
    • People 65 and older
    • Infants and young children
    • People who are physically ill
  • Watch for signs of Heat Exhaustion:
    • Fatigue
    • Weakness/Fainting
    • Nausea/Vomiting
    • Headache/Dizziness
    • Myalgia
    • Muscle cramps
  • Recognize signs of Heat Stroke:
    • Extremely high body temperature
    • Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
    • Rapid, strong pulse
    • Throbbing headache
    • Dizziness
    • Nausea

Damage Assessments - Help for Storm Victims 

  • The request for a federal disaster declaration is a joint process between local, state, federal officials.
  • The process begins with a local and state damage assessment to see if damages and impacts in the county meet federally-established per capita loss thresholds, at both the county and state levels.
  • Because of all the ongoing damage assessments across Tennessee, it may take many days to arrive at a total and to see if the impacted counties, Shelby included, and the state surpass the federal loss thresholds.
  • If a federal declaration is granted, assistance for this storm most likely will come in the form of reimbursements to state and local governments, and certain private, nonprofit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities. The categories of help to state and local governments can include work or repairs for debris removal, emergency protective measures, roads and bridges, water control facilities, buildings and equipment, utilities, and recreational facilities.
  • Other federal assistance may also be available from FEMA or other federal entities. However, the granting of any federal assistance still hinges on the completion of a local and state damage assessment, and then a Preliminary Damage Assessment on the part of FEMA.

Storm Benefits for SNAP Program Members-Formerly Food Stamps Program

  • Shelby County residents currently enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) who lost power for 12 hours or more may be eligible for replacement benefits.
  • Shelby County residents who are not enrolled in the SNAP program are not eligible to receive SNAP replacement benefits due to loss of power.
  • To be eligible for the replacement benefits, the household must:
    • Be current SNAP recipients;
    • Have been without power for 12 hours; or
    • Have experienced other household misfortunes that have caused the loss of food.
  • SNAP recipients must request replacement benefits within 10 (ten) calendar days of experiencing food loss. Once approved, replacement benefits are issued to current recipients using their existing EBT card. To request* replacement benefits, current SNAP recipients can call the Family Assistance Service Center at 1-866-311-4287, or visit one of two Tennessee Department of Human Services Offices in Shelby County:
    • North Branch Office 3230 Jackson Avenue Memphis, TN 38122 Office Hours: 7:00 am - 4:30 pm
    • Welles Branch Office 3360 South Third Street Memphis, TN 38109 Office Hours: 7:00 am – 4:30 pm

MLGW 

  • 44,305 MLGW customers are without power. Outages: 1-800-268-8648.
  • MLGW crews are being assisted by 70 utility companies to help restore power.

Emergency Shelter

  • 48 people are staying at the American Red Cross shelter in Memphis at the Orange Mound Community Center, 2572 Park Avenue.
  • Caseworkers will assist storm victims there and at the American Red Cross office at 1399 Madison Avenue.
  • For shelter transportation, call (901) 636-2525. For other resources, call (901) 726-1690.

Public Libraries Have Extended Hours

Blocked Roads-Debris Removal

  • 256 of 481 road debris cases in Memphis have been cleared. More than 20 crews continue to remove debris.

Electricity Hazards

  • Stay away from powerlines.
  • Make sure electrical systems or appliances damaged by the storm are inspected by a qualified, licensed professional. 

Generator Safety

  • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning - Only use generators outside, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors, and windows. Never use grills, camp stoves or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, or any partially enclosed area.
  • Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide (CO) buildup in the home. Although CO can’t be seen or smelled, it can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death. Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air RIGHT AWAY - DO NOT DELAY.

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