The American Red Cross is ready to help as residents of Hawaii brace themselves for the arrival of Tropical Storm Felicia sometime Tuesday..
For nearly a week, the Red Cross Hawaii State Chapter has been recruiting and training local volunteers to help with anticipated shelter and feeding needs. In addition, the chapter's emergency response teams will be equipped with the Rapid Data Management System (RDMS). These handheld devices allow for faster, more accurate reporting of damage assessment to dwellings such as homes and apartment buildings.
The Pacific storm was expected to bring high winds and heavy rain to the islands of Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Oahu. According to news reports, a flash flood watch has been issued for the islands and officials are warning residents to be on the alert for high surf.
A flash flood watch means flooding is possible in the area. Residents are encouraged to follow the advice of local authorities and should be prepared to evacuate, if necessary, and head for higher ground. Other steps to keep you safe during flooding include:
- Stay away from floodwaters.
- If you come upon a flooded road while 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.
- Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
If you have one call to make before you evacuate, call someone you love and tell them you are safe. Then, ask them to register you on the Red Cross Safe and Well web site. The site allows those directly affected by a disaster to let their loved ones know of their well-being. For those without internet access, call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) to register yourself and your family. Follow the prompts for disaster information. Concerned family members who know the person's phone number (home, cell or work) or a complete home address can search for the messages posted by those who self-register
For more information or to access Safe and Well, visit www.redcross.org.
Help people affected by disasters by donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. On those rare occasions when donations exceed Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for disasters and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of all disasters. Call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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 redcross.org.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; 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 mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.