Spring has sprung, bringing with it the unique weather threats people face as the days grow longer and the temperatures warm up.
Spring is the time of year for thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding. The country has already seen devastating flooding in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and other southern states this year and some rivers are still rising.
Thunderstorms produce lightning, which unfortunately kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes. Their heavy rains can cause flash flooding and their strong winds can damage homes and cause power outages.
Tornadoes are more common in the Plains states, but can occur anywhere. They are violent and capable of destroying homes and businesses and leaving people with nothing.
You can find safety information about all different kinds of emergencies in the Red Cross preparedness section of this web site. Information about how to prepared, what to do during whatever the situation is, and what to do after is all available.
So what should people do to be prepared should a weather emergency threaten their community? Planning is the key. They need to know what emergencies are most likely to happen where they live, learn, work and play. Being prepared is just a few short steps away:
1. Get a kit. If you’ve ever fumbled to find a flashlight during a blackout, you know what it feels like to be unprepared. Use a downloadable checklist to make it easy to get your emergency preparedness kit ready. You should include:
2. Make a plan. Talk with household members about what you would do during emergencies. Plan what to do in case you are separated, and choose two places to meet - one right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency such as a fire, and another outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate.
3. Be informed. Know the risks where you live, work, learn and play.
4. Download our apps. Download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of flooding, as well as locations of shelters. Users can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps. Parents can also download the Red Cross Monster Guard App for a fun way to teach children what to do in case of a flood or a hurricane.