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American Red Cross Readying for Sandy in Rhode Island

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PROVIDENCE, RI, October 27, 2012 – The American Red Cross is moving people and resources into place in locations throughout Rhode Island to support its response to Hurricane Sandy.

“We have hundreds of volunteers who are helping to ready our supplies, to organize shelter plans with towns throughout the State and to coordinate our activities with State emergency officials,” said American Red Cross spokesperson Paul Shipman. “We are getting ready for Sandy’s impact and we urge the people of Connecticut to do the same.”

Shipman said residents should stay tuned to news for information about the storm and about instructions they may need to follow for public safety.

“Keep up with news and know what is happening in your area. Local news will have information about forecasts and shelters,” Shipman said. “Other sources of information on shelters are 211Info Line and the new Red Cross Hurricane App for smartphones. Our the app will provide real-time information on storm alerts, locations of open shelters and tools to notify your friends and family that you are safe and well.” Shipman said information about downloading the free app is at www.redcross.org.

Shipman said that people should have basic supplies at home to last for at least three days:

  • First Aid kit
  • Non-perishable food (such as canned vegetables and fruit, energy bars, canned tuna)
  • Water for drinking and preparing food (one gallon per person per day)
  • Flashlight, radio and batteries
  • Shipman said these basics will help people who need to shelter-in-place for a period of time during and after the storm.

    If you are required to evacuate, Shipman suggested important items to bring to an evacuation shelter:

  • Pillows, bedding, sleeping bag or mat
  • Any prescriptions or maintenance medications you need on a regular basis
  • Toiletries and a change of clothes
  • Shipman also said that people evacuating to a shelter need to bring any medications they are taking. “If you have prescriptions, be sure to bring those medicines with you; it could be nearly impossible for you to replace them at the height of the storm.”

    Also important to bring are identification and important documents, like homeowners insurance policy information. “You should have copies of key documents with you that would help you to make claims or identify yourself if your home is inaccessible after the storm,” Shipman said.

    Shipman also suggested bringing some items to help you pass the time. “Bring a book to read. Bring a deck of cards or a favorite board game for your family. Consider including a stuffed animal for your child, which could be a real comfort at stressful time.”

    Shipman said information is vital as the storm approaches. News reports and local officials are good sources of information on shelter locations. Local emergency management offices can provide information about particular hazards typical in your area. 211 Info Line can also provide information about resources in your area.

    Shipman suggested having a communication plan for the storm. Reach out to friends and family to provide a contact number that they can use to check on you. Let people know about Red Cross Safe and Well, which is an easy way to keep tabs on your welfare.

    Before the storm arrives, tell out of town friends and family about checking www.Redcross.org/SafeandWell to find out the status of loved ones after the storm. People in storm affected areas can post a free simple message to assure others that they have come through the storm okay. This can alleviate anxiety, unnecessary searches and clogged communication lines. Safe and Well is accessible online, on smartphones and by calling 1-800-RED CROSS. For Spanish, visit, www.sanoysalvo.org. People may also register in person at any Red Cross shelter.

    “The time to get ready and get informed is now,” Shipman said. “You don’t want to be out in the storm or looking for shelter options at the last minute.”

    For more information and readiness tips, visit www.redcross.org. For shelter locations, call 211 Info Line or go to www.211ri.org.

    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 join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.