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Follow Flood Safety Steps as Severe Weather Threatens

Emergency App
Head for high ground and stay there.

Severe storms could cause flash flooding over a large portion of the country over the next several days and the American Red Cross is responding where flooding has already occurred.

More than 20 people spent Sunday night in Red Cross shelters in California and Vermont due to flooding. In Barre City, Vermont, flooding forced about 40 residents from their homes. In California, Red Cross workers opened shelters after flash flooding and mudslides forced residents of Mt. Pinos and Frazier Park to leave their homes.

Weather experts predict flash flooding could occur from southern California to the Mid-Atlantic region over the next few days. The Red Cross has steps people should follow, including downloading the Red Cross Emergency app, to help them stay safe and connected during the storms.

FLOOD SAFETY Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area. If your neighborhood is prone to flash flooding, you should be prepared to evacuate quickly if necessary. Other safety steps include:

  • Head for higher ground and stay there.
  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way.
  • Turn around, don’t drown. 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. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water
  • DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP The all-inclusive Emergency app combines more than 35 emergency alerts to help keep the user safe, including information about what to do in case of floods, thunderstorms, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires and more. Users can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

    Some of the many features of the app include:

  • The emergency alerts are available for the user’s location and to monitor where friends and family live.
  • Users can turn alerts on and off to fit their situation.
  • A single map provides shelter locations and weather information.
  • Users can easily toggle between English and Spanish.
  • Information is included on emergency first aid for situations such as heat-related emergencies and water safety for lakes and beaches.
  • The app covers what to do in emergencies that affect a large area, such as mudslides and snow storms.
  • Pre-loaded content ensures guidance from Red Cross experts is available even without mobile connectivity.
  • The home fires section provides information on how to prevent fires, protect loved ones and what to do after a fire occurs.
  • The make-a-plan feature helps households draw up their individual disaster plans.
  • “Family Safe” is another unique feature that allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay, even if that person hasn’t downloaded the Emergency App. Using “Family Safe,” the user can send someone a message and their response of either “I’m safe” or “I’m not safe” will come to the user. If they are not safe, the user can call them or see their location on a map. The app also has an “I’m Safe” button which allows users to let loved ones know they are out of harm’s way.

    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.

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