As Hurricane Ike grows in size and strength in the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center predicts it will enter Texas late Friday/early Saturday. In anticipation of Ike’s landfall as a major hurricane, the American Red Cross is moving relief supplies to Texas and urging residents prepare and listen to directions from local officials.
Red Cross volunteer Hope Koestner holds Al'vonte Hyams, 6 months old, at a Red Cross shelter in Baton Rouge, Louisiana after Hurricane Gustav. Photo: Talia Frenkel
Strategically moving supplies from Florida and other locations to Texas before the storm hits is a top priority of the American Red Cross. More than 300,000 shelf stable meals are already in place in Texas, along with 1500 Texas Red Cross workers. Another 600 Red Cross workers are being sent into the state to supplement those already in place. In addition, more than 100 Emergency Response Vehicles are in route to Texas.
Those who live in the storm’s projected path should get ready now. Evacuate if you are told to do so.
If a Storm Watch is issued:
- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio or TV stations for up-to-date storm information.
- Bring things indoors that could cause damage to your home, such as outdoor furniture.
- Turn off electricity and water. Leave natural gas on; turn off propane gas service.
- If high winds are expected, cover the windows.
- Protect your valuables; Make a visual or written record of all of your household possessions. Record model and serial numbers.
- Gather essential supplies and important papers.
- Fill your car’s gas tank.
- Recheck manufactured home tie-downs.
- Check batteries and stock up on canned food, first aid supplies, drinking water and medications.
Hurricane Ike is the most recent storm in an active hurricane season that is not over yet. Since January 2008, Red Cross volunteers have responded to thousands of house fires and more than 60 large-scale disasters —including a record number of tornadoes, the worst flooding in the Midwest in 15 years, and early wildfire season and an active hurricane season that is not over yet. Expenses for Hurricane Gustav alone are estimated in the $40M - $70M dollar range for the Red Cross and the organization has only raised a fraction of what is needed to support affected families.
As the Red Cross continues helping individuals and families battered by the 2008 storms and hurricanes, a national fundraising campaign is being launched to raise an initial $100 million to fill a Disaster Relief Fund depleted after an active year of disasters. The Disaster Relief Fund allows the Red Cross to provide emergency assistance to help victims of disasters meet their immediate needs for food, shelter, counseling and other critical services.
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, DC20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.