People on the Hawaiian Islands are preparing for the arrival of Tropical Storm Ana and the American Red Cross is opening evacuation shelters later today to provide a safe refuge for people as the storm hits the islands.
Governor Neil Abercrombie has declared an emergency for the entire state. The storm could bring up to 15 inches of rain to the Aloha State which may lead to flash flooding and mudslides. Large surf swells may cause damage to shorelines throughout the state.
RED CROSS RESPONSE The Red Cross is working in partnership with the Hawaii County Civil Defense to open numerous evacuation shelters on the Big Island in preparation for Ana. Due to Hawaii’s isolation and vulnerability, the Red Cross recommends that people prepare their emergency kits for seven days and bring their emergency supplies with them to shelters. Airports and ports may be damaged by the storm and slow down the resupply process for local stores.
DOWNLOAD APPS The Red Cross Hurricane and First Aid apps are available for people in Hawaii. Red Cross workers there are urging people to listen to local media for the latest storm updates and shelter information and to download the apps. They can be downloaded by visiting redcross.org/apps.
The hurricane app can monitor weather conditions, provide the location of shelters and users can hit the “I’m safe” button to let others know they are safe even if the power is out.
The Red Cross First Aid App puts advice for everyday emergencies at someone’s fingertips. Both apps are available for iPhone and Android devices.
HURRICANE HEADED TO BERMUDA Meanwhile, people on the islands of Bermuda are finishing preparations for a major strike from Hurricane Gonzalo. The Category 4 hurricane is expected to bring damaging winds and life-threatening storm surges to Bermuda. The islands’ emergency management agency is in close contact with the Red Cross regarding preparations. SMS messages are being issued to the public to keep them abreast of developments. The local hospital has prepositioned staff and ambulances in some key areas of Bermuda. One emergency shelter with the capacity to accommodate 300 persons is open and local authorities stand ready to open additional shelters if necessary.
According to the U.S. State Department, there are as many as 8,500 Americans living on Bermuda. People can use the American Red Cross Hurricane App one-touch “I’m Safe” messaging to let loved ones know their status via social media outlets.
HOW YOU CAN HELP Help people affected by disasters like hurricanes and tropical storms in Hawaii and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.