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American Red Cross Offers Tips to Prepare for Potential Flooding

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., February 19, 2014 — Due to expected weather later this week, parts of West Michigan will be at an increased risk for flooding, and the American Red Cross of West Michigan is urging residents to take steps now to stay safe.

“By preparing together for floods, we can make our families safer and our communities stronger,” said Kelly Hudson, Regional Communications Officer of the Red Cross of West Michigan. “We can help you and your family create a flood preparedness plan now, before our community is threatened.”

The American Red Cross of West Michigan is prepared to open any shelters should a need arise. Volunteers are also on standby and ready to respond and assist with community needs. Disaster teams are also monitoring the situation closely and staying in contact with emergency officials and the National Weather Service.

The Red Cross recommends that individuals and families prepare for floods by:

  • Creating and practicing a Disaster Plan: Talk to everyone in your household about what to do if a flood occurs. Decide where you would meet and who you would contact in case of flooding. Assemble and maintain an emergency preparedness kit. Be prepared to evacuate your family and pets at a moment’s notice. Listen to area radio and television stations for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress.
  • Assembling an Emergency Preparedness Kit: Kits should contain a first aid kit and essential medications, foods that don’t require cooking or refrigeration and manual can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries, copies of important documents and other emergency items for the whole family.
  • Heeding Flood Warnings: Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated flood information.  A flood WATCH means flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area. A flood WARNING means flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there. 
  • Relocating During Flood Warnings: Stay away from flood waters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankle, stop, turn around and go another way. 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.


For more information on flood preparedness, visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.


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 or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.