Top 6 Red Cross Preparedness Tips to Stay Safe this Hurricane Season

NOAA Predicted an Above-Normal Atlantic Hurricane Season this Year

Miami, FL, September 2, 2017— We have reached the peak of hurricane season, and so far, a total of nine forecasted storms appeared in the Atlantic — including hurricane Harvey, and now Irma, a storm that does not pose a threat to Florida over the next five days, but it should be closely monitored through next week.

Over 2,600 volunteers, including a team from your south Florida Red Cross are helping the people of Texas and Louisiana. Locally, volunteers at home are checking our supply kits, revising our emergency plans and staying informed – something we want people to do at home as well.” Said Joanne Nowlin, Regional Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross, south Florida Region. “While it is too early to determine the threat level, Irma is yet another reminder of the importance to be prepared.”

Here are the top six things you should do now to be Red Cross Ready:

  1. Talk with household members and create an evacuation plan. Be prepared to evacuate quickly and evacuate if told to do so.
  2. 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.
  3. Get access to NOAA radio broadcasts. Purchase a battery-powered or hand-crank NOAA weather radio in the Red Cross Store.
  4. Protect windows with permanent storm shutters or invest in one-half inch marine plywood that is pre-cut to fit your doors and windows. Identify a place to store lawn furniture, toys, gardening tools and trash cans (away from stairs and exits) to prevent them from being moved by high winds and possibly hurting someone.
  5. Be informed. Learn about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for pets. If travel is in your plans, learn about how emergency situations are communicated at your destination.
  6. Download the free Red Cross Emergency App for expert guidance on what to do before, during and after hurricanes as well as 34 other types of emergencies. 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 an emergency plan already exists for the household, family members should talk about it again so everyone knows what to do and where to go if an emergency occurs. Visit RedCross.org/Prepare for full information about what to do before, during and after a hurricane.

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of tornadoes and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

HOW TO HELP Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like hurricanes and countless other crises can make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting RedCross.org, calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.

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 @SFLRedCross.