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NEWS

Red Cross Offers Safety Tips during Severe Weather Conditions
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Red Cross
 
May 11, 2009

The American Red Cross is on the scene in areas of the country that are experiencing extreme weather conditions, offering shelter, food, and a helping hand to those residents affected.

Flash flooding has been reported in Kentucky, Kansas and West Virginia, while Missouri and Tennessee experienced severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

Although the wildfires in Santa Barbara, California are nearly contained, the fire led to the evacuation of an estimated 30,000 people.  

For those in tornado prone areas, the Red Cross offers the following tips to help your family stay safe:

Preparedness kit
Shop the Red Cross Store for all your preparedness needs.


Prepare a Home Tornado Plan

  • Pick a place where family members could gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.
  • If you are in a high-rise building, you may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. Pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.

Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit Containing

  • First aid kit and essential medications.
  • Canned food and can opener.
  • At least three gallons of water per person.
  • Protective clothing, bedding, or sleeping bags.
  • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
  • Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members.
  • Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas, and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn natural gas service back on.)

Stay Tuned for Storm Warnings

  • Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information.
  • Know what a tornado WATCH and WARNING means:
    • A tornado WATCH means a tornado is possible in your area.
    • A tornado WARNING means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area. Go to safety immediately.
  • Tornado WATCHES and WARNINGS are issued by county or parish

You can find more tips on preparing your family for severe weather by visiting the Preparedness section of RedCross.org.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at www.redcrosschat.org.


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