The American Red Cross is getting ready for Tropical Storm Hanna and urges everyone living in the projected path of the storm to get ready too. A hurricane watch has been issued for areas in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Officials have also urged residents to prepare for heavy winds and rain as far north as Washington, D.C. The storm has a strong chance of impacting the southeastern coast late this week and forecasters predict it to strengthen back to a hurricane with winds of at least 74 mph.
The Red Cross encourages those in potentially affected areas to make preparations now instead of waiting to see where the storm will hit. First, assemble a disaster supplies kit for your home. Make sure to include a first aid kit containing essential medications and at least three gallons of water per person in your home. Canned food and a manual can opener are a must, along with protective clothing and raingear. Be sure to also include a battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries in case of a power outage. Store supplies in a waterproof, easy-to-carry container, such as a plastic tub with handles.
Listen to your local radio and TV stations for important evacuation information and instructions. If you are advised to evacuate, do so immediately and take only the most important items such as:
Prescription medications and medical supplies.
Bedding and clothing, including sleeping bags and pillows.
Bottled water, battery-operated radio and extra batteries, first aid kit and flashlight.
Car keys and maps.
Documents including driver’s license, Social Security card, proof of residence, insurance policies, wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, tax records, etc.
Everyone in your household should know ahead of time where to go if ordered to evacuate. Whether you choose to go to a motel or a friend or family member’s home in a nearby town, keep the telephone numbers to these places handy, along with a road map of your area. You may have to find alternate routes out of town if main roadways are closed or congested with traffic.
A critical step in preparing for the storm is to notify loved ones of your whereabouts. If you have time to make only one phone call before you evacuate, be sure to ask a friend or family member to register you as “safe and well” on the American Red Cross Safe and Well Website. This can then be checked by loved ones to let them know of your well-being.
In addition, here is how to prepare your pets for disaster.
If you have time, bring things indoors that could damage your home. Turn off electricity and water. Leave natural gas turned on; turn off propane gas service. Cover your windows. Gather essential supplies and important papers. Fill your car’s gas tank.
The Red Cross begins to prepare long before the storm makes landfall. If evacuation orders are given, the Red Cross will be ready with shelters, food, and emotional support.
All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the Hurricanes of 2008, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-RED CROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.