Tropical Storm Isaac could bring heavy rain and flooding to Florida in the next few days and the American Red Cross is getting ready to respond if needed. Isaac strengthened today with sustained winds of 60 miles per hour.
As many as 900 trained disaster workers from all over the country are on their way to Florida. Tens of thousands of additional visitors will be in Florida for the Republican National Convention in Tampa, and the Red Cross is preparing for the possibility of sheltering a large number of people, working with emergency agencies to determine what disaster response will be needed for people who live in and around Tampa, as well as for the additional visitors, should the storm affect the Tampa Bay area.
The Red Cross is prepared to open dozens of shelters, has pre-stocked 30,000 ready-to-eat meals and is also working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners like the Southern Baptist Convention and NAACP to coordinate response plans.
There are 22 Red Cross emergency response vehicles already in Florida and 28 more are moving into the state in advance of the storm with an additional 112 on stand-by if needed. The Red Cross is mobilizing five truckloads of disaster supplies to send to Florida and Red Cross disaster warehouses in Georgia and Mississippi are ready to ship emergency supplies if necessary.
“As Isaac travels northward, we’re getting ready to help people in Florida,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president for Red Cross Disaster Services. “We urge folks who may be in the path of this storm to get prepared too – to check their emergency supplies, finalize their hurricane plans, and listen closely to local officials for updates on the storm.”
RED CROSS HURRICANE APP One step people should take now is to download the free Red Cross Hurricane App for mobile devices which puts real time information on hurricane safety at someone’s fingertips. The app features information on Red Cross shelters and a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm. The one-touch “I’m Safe” button lets someone use social media outlets to tell family and friends they are okay. People across the country planning to travel to areas that could get hit with the storm can use the app to receive weather alerts. The Hurricane App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.
GET READY Before the storm, people should prepare by taking the following steps:
More information on what to do before, during and after a storm is available on the Red Cross web site.
HOW TO HELP If anyone would like to help, they can make a donation by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to their local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.