Heading to the Beach? Get Ready for Arthur

Storm Surge
People should stay informed about the storm and leave the area if authorities direct them to do so.

Hurricane Arthur is moving up the East Coast as millions head to the seashore for the Fourth of July holiday. The American Red Cross is prepared to respond all along the Eastern Seaboard and urges individuals and families who may be in the path of the storm to do the same and get ready now.

Arthur has sustained winds of 90 mph and heavy rain, dangerous surf conditions and rip currents pose a threat along the coast. Red Cross chapters from Florida to New York are working with local officials and have shelters, workers and relief supplies on standby in case they are needed.

The storm is headed for the Outer Banks off North Carolina where mandatory evacuations are in effect for several areas. The Red Cross is prepared to open shelters and additional workers and emergency vehicles are ready to deploy if needed.

“The Red Cross is standing by to respond if necessary as this storm moves along the coast. We urge folks who may be in the path of this storm to get ready too,” said Richard Reed, senior vice president, Disaster Cycle Services for the Red Cross. “Those heading to the beach should be especially careful and heed lifeguard warnings about rip currents.”

RIP CURRENT SAFETY Arthur could cause dangerous surf and rip currents for a large stretch of the East Coast over the holiday and the Red Cross urges beachgoers to be aware of what they should do to be safe while enjoying the sand and surf.

  • Swim on lifeguard-protected beaches within the designated swimming areas. Obey all instructions and orders from the lifeguard.
  • If you are caught in a rip current, remain calm and never fight against the current. Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward shore. If you can't swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
  • If you are still unable to reach shore, draw attention to yourself by waving your arm and yelling for help.
  • Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these structures.
  • If you see someone in trouble, get help from a lifeguard. If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1. Throw the victim something that floats such as a lifejacket, cooler or inflatable ball. Yell instructions on how to escape the current. Remember, many people drown while trying to save someone else from a rip current.
  • The Red Cross urges everyone to take steps to keep their loved ones and property safe as the hurricane heads north. People should stay informed – look for critical information on the storm’s progress from the National Weather Service and leave the area if authorities direct them to do so.

    HURRICANE SAFETY People should:

  • Check and restock or replace disaster supplies – keep at least a three-day supply of water and non-perishable food per person on hand.
  • Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If someone does not have hurricane shutters, they should close and board up their windows and doors with plywood.
  • Fill your vehicle’s gas tank.
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind, like outdoor furniture.
  • After the storm passes, watch for possible flooding. Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
  • If you evacuated, return only when officials say it is safe to go back.
  • IF POWER OUTAGES OCCUR, people should:

  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Use perishable food from the refrigerator and freezer first.
  • For possible prolonged power outages, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items.
  • Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment and appliances.
  • Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights will be out and roads will be congested.
  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home or any partially enclosed space.
  • IF FLOODING OCCURS, people should:

  • Be prepared to evacuate quickly.
  • If a flood or flash flood warning is issued, head for higher ground and stay there.
  • Stay away from floodwaters and flooded roads. Be especially cautious at night.
  • RED CROSS HURRICANE APP People should also download the free Red Cross Hurricane App for mobile devices for real time safety information, to know where shelters are located and have access to the “I’m Safe” button to use social media outlets to tell family and friends they are okay. People planning to travel to areas that could get hit with the storm can use the app to receive weather alerts.

    FIRST AID APP Users can also download the free Red Cross first aid app which puts expert advice for everyday emergencies at someone’s fingertips. Both apps can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross

    More information on what to do before, during and after the storm is available in the preparedness section of this web site.

    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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