You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Local Red Cross Readies for Possible Severe Weather

Albany 10/26/12 Local Red Cross Readies for Possible Severe Weather
"By preparing together in advance, we can make our families safer and our communities stronger," said Matt Burns, ARCNENY Deputy Director for Emergency Services.

Volunteers Placed on Alert if Needed in Wake of Any Severe Weather Predicted

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 25, 2012) - In light of the possibility of severe weather due to Hurricane Sandy impacting Upstate New York, the American Red Cross Northeastern New York Region (ARCNENY) urges residents to "Be Red Cross Ready" by taking steps now to prepare and be safe if severe weather arrives.

"By preparing together in advance, we can make our families safer and our communities stronger," said Matt Burns, ARCNENY Deputy Director for Emergency Services. "We strongly urge that families and communities start preparedness planning now, before the region gets hit by severe weather conditions. The Red cross can also provide assistance both during and after severe weather, flooding or hurricane conditions, for anyone that's affected and in need of our assistance."

ARCNENY is preparing for Hurricane Sandy/severe weather by sharing preparedness and safety tips with the public, establishing a regional disaster operations center, contacting ARCNENY volunteers and staff to inquire about their availability over the next two weeks - to assist if needed, working with partner agencies to assess community needs, identifying possible shelter sites and coordinating with the American Red Cross National Headquarters to track the path of the storm and hurricane and assess national needs.

"From Poughkeepsie to Plattsburgh, our regional disaster action team volunteers and employees are on stand-by, they are paying close attention to the weather reports and will be ready to respond to the community's needs," said Burns. "After the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, in 15 out of 17 counties within our region last year, we are doing all that we can to prepare the public and our response teams in advance."

As with any disaster, preparation can be the difference between life and death. The Red Cross strongly recommends that individuals and families prepare for severe weather and that they keep safety as their main priority during severe weather. Three simple steps: Get a kit, Make a Plan, Be Informed:

1. Get a Kit - Be Red Cross Ready!

  • Being prepared means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.
  • At a minimum, you should have the basic supplies listed below:
  • Water-one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Food-non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items (3-day supply for evacuation, 2-week supply for home)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit - Anatomy of a First Aid Kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra cash
  • Emergency blanket
  • Map(s) of the area
  • 2. Make a Plan: Know what to do in case of emergency

  • It is important to make sure that the entire family is prepared and informed in the event of a disaster or emergency. You may not always be together when these events take place and should have plans for making sure you are able to contact and find one another.
  • The American Red Cross suggests some basic steps to make sure you remain safe:
  • Meet with your family or household members.
  • Discuss how to prepare and respond to emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work and play.
  • Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and plan to work together as a team.
  • If a family member is in the military, plan how you would respond if they were deployed.
  • Plan what to do in case you are separated during an emergency
  • Choose two places to meet:
  • Right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency, such as a fire
  • Outside your neighborhood, in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate
  • Choose an out-of-area emergency contact person. It may be easier to text or call long distance if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service. Everyone should have emergency contact information in writing or saved on their cell phones.
  • Plan what to do if you have to evacuate
  • Decide where you would go and what route you would take to get there. You may choose to go to a hotel/motel, stay with friends or relatives in a safe location or go to an evacuation shelter if necessary.
  • Practice evacuating your home twice a year. Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on your map in case roads are impassable.
  • Plan ahead for your pets. Keep a phone list of pet-friendly hotels/motels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes.
  • Let Your Family Know You're Safe
  • If your community has experienced a disaster, register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well website to let your family and friends know you are safe. You may also call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and select the prompt for "Disaster" to register yourself and your family.
  • 3. Be Informed: Know important information to stay safe

  • Learn the types of disasters or emergencies that may likely occur in your area. These events can range from those affecting only you and your family, like a home fire or medical emergency, to those affecting your entire community, like an earthquake or flood.
  • Identify how local authorities will notify you during a disaster and how you will get information, whether through local radio, TV or NOAA Weather Radio stations or channels.
  • Know the difference between different weather alerts such as watches and warnings and what actions to take in each.
  • Know what actions to take to protect you during disasters that may occur in areas where you travel or have moved recently. For example, if you travel to a place where earthquakes are common and you are not familiar with them, make sure you know what to do to protect yourself should one occur.
  • When a major disaster occurs, your community can change in an instant. Loved ones may be hurt and emergency response is likely to be delayed. Make sure that at least one member of your household is trained in first aid and CPR and knows how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). This training is useful in many emergency situations.
  • Share what you have learned with your family, household and neighbors and encourage them to be informed.
  • Safety Tips (checklists):

  • Power Outage (English pdf | Spanish pdf)
  • Flood Safety (English pdf | Spanish pdf)
  • Hurricane (English pdf | Spanish pdf)
  • Winter Storm (English pdf | Spanish pdf)
  • Mobile Apps:

    The Red Cross also offers free mobile apps preparedness information app for iPhone or Android smartphones. Tips on safety and preparedness are literally brought to peoples' fingertips.

    Hurricane by American Red Cross - Monitor conditions in your area or throughout the storm track, prepare your family and home, find help and let others know you are safe even if the power is out - a must have for anyone who lives in an area where a hurricane may strike or has loved ones who do.

    Get the app now for iPhone or Android devices or search the iTunes or Google Play app store for "Hurricane by American Red Cross."

    Hurricane by American Red Cross - Monitor conditions in your area or throughout the storm track, prepare your family and home, find help and let others know you are safe even if the power is out - a must have for anyone who lives in an area where a hurricane may strike or has loved ones who do.

    Get the app now for iPhone or Android devices or search the iTunes or Google Play app store for "Hurricane by American Red Cross."

    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    First Aid by American Red Cross - The official American Red Cross First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand. The official American Red Cross First Aid app offers videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it's never been easier to know first aid.

    Get it now for iPhone and Android devices or search the iTunes or Google Play app store for "First Aid by American Red Cross."

    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    Shelter Finder App by American Red Cross - When disaster strikes know when and where shelters have been opened to provide assistance. The application maps locations and shelter details across the United States. Zoom in to the local area. View shelter details: the agency managing the shelter, capacity of the shelter and current population, the associated disaster event and the specific shelter address and location.

    Get it now for iPhone and Android devices or search the iTunes or Google Play app store for "Shelter by American Red Cross."

    All Red Cross Mobile Apps are available for download by visiting: http://www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps.

    For more information on severe weather and hurricane preparedness, contact the American Red Cross Northeastern New York Region at (518) 458-8111 visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS.

    You can help people affected by disasters like floods, fires, and hurricanes, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

    People wishing to help can call, click or text a donation to the Red Cross Disaster Relief fund by calling 1-800-REDCROSS, visiting www.redcross.org, or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation