With more than 1.6 million FirstEnergy customers in the Northeast and Midwest states experiencing power outages because of Hurricane Sandy, Trumbull County was lucky to scrape by with relatively few outages, officials said.
Because of the slow-moving nature of the storm, FirstEnergy expects the number of outages to climb, while also making it more difficult for workers to assess and respond to the damages.
According to a press release by FirstEnergy, the company has approximately 7,800 workers "poised for restoration."
The American Red Cross has also reported mobilizing 1,300 disaster workers with 160 vehicles in order to provide safe shelter to thousands in the affected states.
Karen Conklin, executive director of the Mahoning Valley Red Cross, said three volunteers from the local area have been sent out to affected areas, while the rest of the local branch's approximately 300 volunteers have been put on alert.
Conklin said they are still in the initial diagnosis of damages caused by the storm, but one shelter was set up in the Mentor area to provide supplies and shelter for residents there. According to Ohio Edison's website, more than 28,000 customers in the Mentor area lost power.
Conklin said that while the Youngstown-Warren area weathered the storm with minimal damages, the Mahoning Valley Red Cross is "ready to go year-round" - especially, she said, because the old wooden houses of the Trumbull area are prone to house fires.
In light of the storm causing more than 100 blood drive events to be canceled, the Red Cross is urging blood donations from those who are able. Conklin said that the Red Cross is also always collecting money in order to send volunteers to the affected areas.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine sent out a press release urging Ohioans to beware of charity fraud that will arise out of the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
"We naturally want to reach out to those who face such powerful and deadly storms, and I encourage those who can to do so," said Attorney General Mike DeWine, "but please be careful. Unfortunately, there are some who might use our generous nature to take the donations for themselves, not those in need."
In addition to supplying shelter and necessities to those affected by the storm, the Red Cross is also helping to let family members of those in damaged areas know that their loved ones are safe.
Their "Hurricane Mobile App," which has had more than 235 thousand downloads since Thursday, has a one-touch "I'm safe" button that utilizes social media platforms to let family and friends know victims are safe. The Red Cross' Safe and Well website also provides a search-able list of registrants who have identified themselves as doing okay.