BELLEVUE -- While work crews rush to repair damage and restore power in the aftermath of this week's storm, good neighbors can be the first line of defense against hardships worse than a lack of electricity. The City of Bellevue has set up a heated temporary shelter at the North Bellevue Community Center, but officials ask residents to look out for their neighbors, particularly older residents.
Here are a few ways residents can help each other, and in doing so, help relief efforts.
1) Check on neighbors, relatives and friends who may have limited means to care for themselves. If lack of electricity means no heat, there are real risks, especially for the elderly. If your relatives live alone, call or visit them if you can do so safely. Walk next door to your neighbor and see if they are all right. If they need assistance, help them find a shelter with electricity for the night.
2) If you feel at all vulnerable, ask for help. Don’t put it off too long out of pride. If you are in a high-risk category due to age, disability, illness or any other reason and are concerned about your health during this time, call someone.
3) Pitch in. If you have the skills and tools to do so safely, do what you can to clear your property of debris and waste. This allows relief crews to move on to more serious problems. See the Debris Collection Fact Sheet. If you can, help your surrounding neighbors do the same.
4) Do not burn debris. There is a burn ban in effect in Bellevue, and burning yard waste is not only illegal, but potentially dangerous. With Fire and Rescue personnel spread thin, a yard waste fire that gets out of control just stretches them thinner.
These tips will not only improve the time it takes to recover, but could potentially save lives.
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