Red Cross Prepared For Irma Relief

Contact: Brittany Jennings

Email: brittany.jennings2@redcross.org

Red Cross Volunteers Prepared to Assist with Hurricane Irma Relief

RALEIGH, Sept. 8, 2017 — As Hurricane Irma barrels closer to the Southeastern United States, the American Red Cross is mobilizing a massive relief effort ahead of the most powerful Atlantic Ocean storm on record.

Hurricane Irma is expected to make landfall today along the Florida coast, packing approximately 175 mph winds and heavy rains, and causing devastating storm surge in its path. The powerful storm, which has already caused destruction on many Caribbean island nations, could impact states through the mid-Atlantic region for several days.

The Red Cross is mobilizing hundreds of trained Red Cross disaster relief workers, truckloads of kitchen supplies as well as tens of thousands of ready-to-eat meals to support this response effort. Trailers full of shelter supplies including cots and blankets – enough to support more than 120,000 people – are on their way to help people affected by Irma.

“In North Carolina, we are prepared for whatever Hurricane Irma may bring. Lead volunteers have already gathered, hundreds of volunteers are on standby, and truckloads of supplies are in place to support shelters and feeding if needed,” said Mary Donny, Red Cross disaster relief job director in North Carolina.

As many as 120 Red Cross emergency response vehicles are activated in the Southeast with more on alert. The Red Cross is also working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolinato coordinate potential response efforts.

BE PREPARED

Those in the storm’s path can find a shelter by visiting redcross.org or by downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App. The Emergency App also puts real time information about the storm and hurricane safety tips at your fingertips. The app is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps. You can also follow these safety steps:

·         Continue listening to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.

·         If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, be prepared to evacuate quickly if necessary.

·         Follow evacuation orders and do not attempt to return until officials say it is safe to do so.

·         Head for higher ground and stay there.

·         Stay away from flood waters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way.

·         Turn around, don’t drown. If driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

·         Keep children out of the water.

·         Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to see flood danger.

·         Make sure you have a plan and supplies for your pets. Download the free Red Cross Pet First Aid App for emergency preparedness tips, a pet-friendly hotel locator and an animal hospital locator.

During the storm:

·         Stay indoors.

·         Don’t walk on beaches, river banks or in flood waters.

·         Use flashlights in the dark if the power goes out. Do NOT use candles.

·         Turn off the power and water mains if instructed to do so by local authorities.

·         Don’t forget your pets. Bring them indoors and maintain direct control of them. Prepare an emergency kit for your pets, including sturdy leashes or pet carriers, food and water, bowls, cat litter and pan, and photos of you with your pet in case they get lost.

Find more information on preparedness on redcross.org.

VOLUNTEER TO HELP

The Red Cross is currently seeking volunteers to help those affected by Hurricane Irma. To volunteer, please visit redcross.org/volunteer to complete a volunteer application and see what opportunities are available.

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.

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Red Cross Prepares For Irma.