By American Red Cross, Special for USDR
It’s National Hurricane Preparedness Week and the American Red Cross has steps people should take now to get ready for hurricane season which runs from June 1 to November 30.
Hurricanes cause problems for people in coastal areas. But these storms can also cause damage hundreds of miles inland. In 2011, tropical storms caused devastating flooding in Pennsylvania and New Jersey hundreds of miles from the coast. In 1972, Hurricane Agnes ravaged the mid-Atlantic region from central Virginia through Pennsylvania to New York.
“A hurricane is a serious threat to residents in coastal areas as well as hundreds of miles inland,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president, Disaster Services Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. “We’re ready and we want people to know it’s important for them to get prepared too.”
RED CROSS PREPARED Thousands of trained Red Cross disaster workers all over the country are ready to respond if needed. The Red Cross stocks items like food, cots, blankets and other relief supplies in warehouses across the country – enough to support thousands of people needing shelter. Through partnerships and a variety of methods, the Red Cross has the ability to serve a million meals a day if needed. Thousands of shelter locations are already identified and Red Cross emergency vehicles are ready to go into action.
GET READY NOW It’s the best way to be prepared for these dangerous storms. People should:
- Build an emergency kit with a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for an infant if applicable, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information. Many of these items are available through the Red Cross Store at redcrossstore.org.
- Talk with household members and create an evacuation plan. Practicing the plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
- Be informed. Learn about the community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for pets.
- People should also download the free Red Cross Emergency App to select up to 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts on their mobile device. The content includes expert guidance on what to do before, during and after different emergencies or disasters from home fires to hurricanes. All Red Cross apps can be found in smartphone app stores by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/apps.
If someone already has a disaster kit, now is the time make sure the food and water is still okay to consume and that copies of important documents are up to date. If they already have an emergency plan for their household, they should talk about it again with family members so everyone knows what to do if an emergency occurs.
HELP FOR BUSINESSES, SCHOOLS, ORGANIZATIONS The Red Cross Ready Rating™ program helps businesses, schools and other organizations prepare for emergencies that can disrupt daily operations. Ready Rating offers specific steps that organizations can take to be better prepared. It includes a planning tool to help their employees or members know what their roles are in the early hours of an emergency, what their next steps are, and a resource center with tools that help businesses, employees and students develop and practice preparedness plans. More information about this valuable, free program can be found at readyrating.org.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
SOURCE American Red Cross