Red Cross Prepares for Hurricane Earl from North Carolina to New England
By Caitlin Cobb, American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter
September 1, 2010
The American Red Cross is on the ground from North Carolina to New England, preparing to open shelters and feed those affected by Hurricane Earl as the Category 3 storm bears down on the United States, bringing heavy rains and sustained winds blowing at 125 mph.
“We are making preparations for Earl’s landfall, and we urge everyone who may be in the path of the storm to also get prepared and follow the instructions of local authorities about evacuating,” said Joe Becker, senior vice president, Red Cross Disaster Services. “Indications are that the storm will affect those who are miles inland from the coast. Being ready is your best protection against a storm like this.”
The Red Cross has trained disaster workers across the country on alert to help respond to Hurricane Earl. All along the eastern seaboard, the Red Cross is working with various state, county and local government officials to determine what their areas will need. Emergency planning is taking place in North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
In North Carolina, voluntary evacuation orders have been issued for some of the barrier islands. Earl could arrive in the state by late Thursday or early Friday, and the Red Cross has 14 shelters on stand-by with more than 80 additional shelter sites identified if needed.
People who are evacuating can register on the Red Cross Safe and Well Website so that friends and relatives can find out how they are. For those who don’t have internet access, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to register yourself and your family. Follow the prompts for disaster information.
More than 150 mobile response vehicles are ready to travel to the East Coast, some as far away from the coast as Michigan and Wisconsin. More than 30 of these Red Cross emergency vehicles will be in North Carolina later today. Four Red Cross warehouses stocked with relief supplies are on stand-by, and two trailers of relief supplies are enroute to North Carolina, carrying clean-up kits, tarps, work gloves, comfort kits, and trash bags.
The National Hurricane Center has issued a hurricane warning for the East Coast from Bogue Inlet, North Carolina to southern Virginia. A hurricane watch has been extended northward from the North Carolina-Virginia border to Cape Henlopen, Delaware. Residents all along the coast all the way to New England are cautioned to pay attention to the storm. Other areas of North Carolina are under a Tropical Storm Watch.
To make a financial donation to the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter to help people affected by this storm or other disasters, please visit our website at www.redcrossbayarea.org or call 1-888-4-HELP-BAY.