Red Cross Provides Safe Refuge Ahead of Irma
Orlando, FL — The extremely powerful and historic Hurricane Irma is beginning to impact Florida bringing the threat of extreme winds, torrential rain and dangerous flash flooding. The Red Cross is working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners to coordinate response efforts and provide safe refuge to the millions of people forced from their homes under evacuation orders. Friday night, an estimated 48,000 people sought refuge in 249 Red Cross and partner evacuation centers in Florida.
Red Cross evacuation centers are intended to provide immediate protection and save the lives of those in the path of this catastrophic and deadly storm. Evacuation centers will likely not have cots and blankets. Light snacks and water will be available in most situations.
Anyone coming to a hurricane evacuation center should bring their emergency supplies kit with a minimum 3-day supply for each person of the following items:
- Water: one gallon per person, per day
- Food: non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items
- Bedding: pillows and blankets
- Medications, medical items and supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, etc.)
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
People in the path of this storm need to finalize their preparations and heed the advice of local officials. Listen to local media or NOAA radio for the latest updates. People can also visit www.redcross.org to get up-to-date Hurricane Irma Response Information, learn how to keep their family and home safe during a hurricane, find open shelters or become a volunteer.
The Red Cross is urging people who have not already done so to download the free Red Cross Emergency App which can be found in your App store. The American Red Cross Safe and Well website is a free public reunification tool that allows individuals and organizations to register and post messages to indicate that they are safe, or to search for loved ones. The site is always available and open to the public and available in Spanish. Registrations and searches can be done directly on the website. Registrations can also be completed by texting SAFE to 78876. Messages exist in both Spanish and English. To speak with someone at the American Red Cross concerning a missing friend or relative, please contact 1-800 Red Cross.
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.