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City of Renton Shelter to Remain Open December 9

December 8, 2009

For more information contact:

Karen Bergsvik, Human Services Manager 425-430-6650
Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director 425-430-6569

Highlands Neighborhood Community Center Open

Renton, WA:  Due to the extreme cold weather the City of Renton’s shelter at the Highlands Neighborhood Community Center, 800 Edmonds Ave NE, will remain open tonight, Wednesday, December 9, 2009, from 8:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m., Thursday, December 10, to assist residents during the cold weather.

The shelter currently does not need any food donations and can only serve pre-packaged food. Residents who wish to make a contribution are advised to donate to local food banks and other community organizations. Also, pets are not allowed in the shelter and residents must make other arrangements for them.

Residents are asked to be careful and remain in their homes for their own safety. To stay warm, wear extra clothing and use extra blankets. Residents are also urged to check on their neighbors who may need help, such as the elderly or people with special needs. Be sure they have emergency supplies.

With temperatures expected to remain close to or below freezing, the roads can get extremely icy and unsafe and the city urges drivers to prepare for winter driving conditions. Citizens are reminded to have their personal/family emergency plans ready including food, water, alternative shelter, a land-line telephone, transistor/battery-operated radio and other tools that can help respond to an emergency. Citizens should have enough supplies for at least 72 hours and beyond.

Residents in need of assistance during business hours should call the City of Renton Human Services at 425-430-6650 or 425-430-7500 after 5:00 p.m.
 
For information and locations of other shelters in King County visit
http://www.kingcounty.gov/safety/prepare/news/2009/December/05shelters.aspx

Here are some steps that you can take to help you be prepared:

• Dress appropriately before going outdoors. The air temperature does not have to be below freezing to cause cold emergencies such as hypothermia and frostbite.
• Make sure to keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. Keep extra blankets in the trunk in the event you are stranded and have to wait for help.
• Prevent water pipes in the home from freezing, and thaw them if they do freeze. (American Red Cross website): http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/0,1082,0_579_,00.html)
• Stock your emergency car kit, especially with a battery-operated radio, water, blankets, and non-perishable foods. (Emergency car kit checklist): http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/winter/emergencykit.htm)
News and Information Resources
• Northwest Weather Service (Seattle)
http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sew/

• Winter Safe Driving:
http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/winter/

• Regional Public Information Network
www.rpin.org

• City of Renton website
rentonwa.gov