2016 Hurricane Season Begins: Red Cross Prepares for Colin in Florida
The American Red Cross is prepared to respond if necessary as Tropical Storm Colin heads to Florida with strong winds and heavy rain. Parts of the state are already under warnings and watches as the storm nears landfall. The Red Cross in Florida is monitoring the storm and urges people in its path to get ready too.
“The best defense against any threat of a hurricane or tropical storm is for folks to get ready now,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president, Disaster Services Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. “These storms could become a serious danger to people living along the coast, as well as hundreds of miles inland.”
NOAA PREDICTS NEAR-NORMAL ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON
The 2016 hurricane season opened June 1 and Colin is already the third storm to receive a name. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) prediction for this year reports there could be 10 to 16 named storms in the Atlantic Ocean.
NOAA also predicted of the named storms, four to eight could strengthen to a hurricane with winds of 74 mph or higher, with as many as four becoming major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher.
Residents living in areas which can be affected by tropical storms and hurricanes should get ready now. Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30.
Hurricanes cause problems for people in coastal areas. But these storms can also cause damage hundreds of miles inland. In 2011, tropical storms caused devastating flooding in Pennsylvania and New Jersey hundreds of miles from the coast. In 1972, Hurricane Agnes ravaged the mid-Atlantic region from central Virginia through Pennsylvania to New York.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
Hurricanes and tropical storms can bring heavy rainfall, high winds, tornadoes, rip currents, storm surges and inland flooding. The Red Cross has three steps people can follow - build a kit, make a plan and be informed.
An emergency kit should a gallon of water per person, non-perishable food, a flashlight and extra batteries, a first aid kit, medications and copies of important documents. Talk with members of your household and create an evacuation plan. Learn about how your community responds to hurricanes and plan routes to local shelters. Remember family members with special medical needs and plan how you will care for your pets.
KNOW WHAT WARNINGS MEAN
A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are a threat within the next 48 hours. Review emergency plans, stay informed about the situation and be ready to act if a warning is issued. A hurricane warning means hurricane conditions are expected within the next 36 hours; complete storm preparations and leave the area if ordered to do so by authorities.
The Red Cross Hurricane Safety Checklist is available to learn more about what to do if a hurricane might affect your community. For more information on hurricane safety, visit the preparedness section of our web site.
People should also download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of hurricanes, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.