The American Red Cross is ready to respond to Hurricane Earl in Massachusetts, preparing if necessary to open shelters and feed those affected by the storm, which may bring heavy rains and sustained winds blowing at 125 mph. A Hurricane watch has been issued from Woods Hole to Sagamore Beach, including Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Locally, Cape Ann may experience high seas and wind gusts between 50-55mph.
The Red Cross has sent two trailers loaded with a total of 1,000 clean up kits, 1,000 tarps, 4,000 work gloves, 1,000 comfort kits and 3,000 trash bags to Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In addition, 23 Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) have been deployed to support this operation. The Northeast Massachusetts chapter will have its’ ERV ready to assist residents affected by the storm.
Earl is the second storm to move through the Atlantic in the last week, coming on the heels of Hurricane Danielle. Though Danielle's threat has weakened, the storm is still causing winds as high as 75 mph and will remain a powerful storm in the North Atlantic for the next several days. A third storm named Fiona is forming out of a new low pressure system and could move in behind Earl.
“With strong winds and possible flooding, the Red Cross is preparing to respond if needed. Everyone needs to make sure they have food and supplies in place, in case they lose electricity or have to leave their homes. If necessary, we will open shelters where individuals in affected areas can stay,” states Cindy Quinn, Emergency Services Director.
Hurricane preparedness tips and ways to help people affected by the storm are available at www.redcross.org.
The chain of Atlantic storms has been causing powerful rip currents all along the East Coast. With the Labor Day holiday weekend arriving, the Red Cross advises anyone visiting Eastern shore points to swim only on lifeguard-protected beaches, within the designated swimming areas.
If caught in a rip current, remember the following:
• Remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly.
• Never fight against the current.
• Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim at an angle--away from the current--towards shore.
• If unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim towards shore.
• If unable to reach shore, yell for help and draw attention to yourself.
• Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these structures.
What to bring to a shelter:
• Prescriptions and emergency medicine
• Extra clothes
• Pillows and blankets
• Hygiene supplies (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, razor, etc.)
• Important documents (driver’s license, social security card, insurance information, wills, deeds and birth and marriage certificates)
• Comfort items (books, magazines, etc.)
• Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled
• Families with children and infants should also bring special items such as diapers, formula and toys with them as well