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Chicago Area Residents Urged To Be Safe Due To Flooding

The American Red Cross is urging residents in the greater Chicago area to take caution during the severe thunderstorms and heavy rain that is causing flooding across the region. A list of available shelters for people displaced by flooding in the area can be found at

Motorists should never attempt to drive through water on a road. Water can be deeper than it appears, and water levels can rise very quickly. Floodwaters can erode roadways, and a missing section of road - even a missing bridge - will not be visible with water running over the area. Wade through floodwaters only if the water is not flowing rapidly and only in water no higher than six inches. Swiftly moving water higher than six inches can sweep you off of your feet. If a car stalls in floodwater, get out quickly and move to higher ground. The floodwaters may still be rising, and the car could be swept away at any moment.

The Red Cross Tornado App features warning alerts for location-based NOAA tornado, severe thunderstorm and flood watch; weather maps; and a one-touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to broadcast reassurance to family and friends that they are out of harm’s way.

The Tornado App, along with other apps, can be found in the Apply App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to People can go to for more safety tips.

The Red Cross offers additional tips for those in the affected area to stay safer:

  • Continue listening to local radio or television stations or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions. If you are away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so.
  • Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
  • Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damages.
  • If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
  • If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
  • Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.
  • Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!
  • Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.
  • When it is safe to return home, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and sturdy shoes when examining your walls, doors, staircases and windows for damage.
  • During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
  • 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 join our blog at