As floodwaters rise in Texas and fires continue to rage in Colorado, the American Red Cross is providing support to responders and shelter to those in need. People can find up-to-date shelter location information readily available on www.redcross.org by clicking “Find a Shelter.”
In Texas, remnants of Tropical Depression Hermine submerged parts of the state with nearly a foot of water, prompting expanding evacuations in the San Antonio, Waco, Austin and Dallas areas. Red Cross chapters in Texas have opened shelters and are providing shelter and food to emergency workers and those who have had to leave their homes. If you live in an area which may be affected by this flooding, the Red Cross offers the following steps people should take to stay safe:
- Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon an area where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
- If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
- Listen to area radio and television stations and NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
- When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
In Colorado, a wildfire in Boulder County has destroyed almost 100 structures and prompted the evacuation of as many as 3,500 people. The Red Cross in Colorado is providing food and shelter for hundreds of affected residents and those responding to the blaze. Arrangements have also been made for people’s pets through local Humane Societies and the Colorado Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps.
“Pets are a great source of comfort, especially in times of stress, said Jim Rettew, chief communication officer of the American Red Cross Mile High Chapter. “Housing pets in close proximity to their owners give shelter residents great peace of mind.”
If you reside in the area threatened by the fire, the Red Cross offers the following steps to be prepared should your neighborhood be affected:
- Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
- Listen to local radio and television stations for updated emergency information.
- Back your car into the garage or park it in an open space facing the direction of escape.
- Confine pets to one room so that you can find them if you need to evacuate quickly.
- Arrange for temporary housing at a friend or relative’s home outside the threatened area.
- Limit exposure to smoke and dust.
To find out more about what steps you should take if a flood or wildfire threatens your neighborhood, visit our web site. To make a financial donation to the Red Cross to help people affected by these disasters here in the United States and around the world, people can click, call or text - visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.