Hurricane Season is Officially Here - Get Prepared

“Getting ready now can reduce the impact of hurricanes,” said American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania CEO Judge Renée Cardwell Hughes.

Friday, June 1st marks the official start of the 2012 Hurricane Season, which runs through November 30th and the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania wants to make sure you and your community are prepared.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a near-normal year for hurricanes with nine to 15 storms in the Atlantic Ocean. Of these storms, four to 8 could strengthen to a hurricane with winds of 74 mph or higher, with as many as three becoming major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher. There has already been two named storms this year and if last year is any indication, it will be critical for Southeastern Pennsylvania to take the necessary steps to be ready.

“Getting ready now can reduce the impact of hurricanes,” said American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania CEO Judge Renée Cardwell Hughes. “Any one of these storms could pose a serious threat to people. Getting prepared ahead of time is the best way to be ready for any emergency or weather disaster.”

WHAT TO DO

The Red Cross offers the following actions to get ready for hurricane season.

•Build an emergency kit with a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for an infant if applicable, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information.

•Talk with household members and create an evacuation plan. Planning and practicing evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.

•Be informed. Learn about the community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for pets to be cared for. Be sure to keep up with emergency information by following @RedCrossPhilly on Twitter and by going to RedCrossPhilly.org.

•Since many areas of Southeastern Pennsylvania are prone to flooding and because standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact this region. For information on flood insurance, visit the National Flood Insurance Program website at www.FloodSmart.gov.

Be Red Cross Ready! Check out this Hurricane Safety Checklist and be prepared for whatever nature throws your way.

About the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter

The American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. The Red Cross is not a government agency. All Red Cross assistance is free of charge. Financial contributions are always welcomed and needed and can be made by going to RedCrossPhilly.org.

Contact: Dave Schrader (215) 299-4042 or after hours (215) 299-4889, Dave.Schrader@redcross.org