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Severe Storms Threaten Midwest, Major Heat Wave to Hit the West

Severe Weather

On Thursday, powerful storms will again target the Midwest and East with damaging winds and large hail, as well as the possibility of isolated tornadoes and flash flooding. Farther west, a massive heat wave is expected to hit western states this weekend. It’s important that residents take time now to learn how to stay safe during these extreme conditions.


The Red Cross Emergency App is the one-download resource that puts vital information at your fingertips. This “all-inclusive” app combines more than 35 customizable severe weather and emergency alerts from natural to man-made, giving users real-time information to help keep them and their loved ones safe. Users can find it in smart phone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to


When the temperatures rise, drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty. Drinks with caffeine or alcohol aren’t a good choice. Eat smaller meals and eat more often. Other tips include:

  • Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  • Never leave kids or pets in hot vehicles.
  • Wear loose, light weight, light colored clothing.
  • Slow down, stay inside and avoid heavy exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  • If you work outside, take a lot of breaks.
  • Check on loved ones and neighbors who don’t have air conditioning, who are alone, or who may be affected by the heat.
  • Check on your animals frequently. Make sure they have enough water,
  • If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should choose places to go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).

    If you are in the path of these storms, here are some steps you should take:

  • Watch for darkening skies, flashes of light, or increasing wind. Listen for the sound of thunder.
  • When thunder roars, go indoors. If you can hear thunder, go to safe shelter immediately.
  • Take shelter inside. Unplug appliances, avoid using the phone and electrical appliances
  • If you are driving, pull off the road and park. Keep the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.
  • Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.
  • Turn off the air conditioner. The storm could damage the unit.
  • If you are caught outside during a thunderstorm and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.
  • Learn what to do if the power goes out.

    Meanwhile, the Red Cross is still helping people affected by recent storms and ongoing flooding. Wednesday night approximately 180 people spent the night in Red Cross shelters in five states across the country.

    People can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. This includes the recent severe weather and nearly 70,000 other disasters we handle every year around the country.

    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, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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