GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., April 14, 2014 — The American Red Cross of West Michigan is sending out disaster assessment teams to areas that were affected by severe weather over the weekend.
“Red Cross disaster services is aware that many people have been without power since storms came through the area on Saturday,” said Chip Kragt, Disaster Services Officer for the American Red Cross of West Michigan. “We also know others are dealing with damage from the heavy rains and high winds and we want to make sure that they know they can come to the Red Cross for assistance.”
The Red Cross is strongly encouraging people to be aware of any flood watches or warnings in their area and to prepare now. The Red Cross is also monitoring the need for shelters and is prepared to open any should a need arise. Volunteers are also on standby and ready to respond and assist with community needs.
Residents are encouraged to prepare themselves by doing the following:
- Create and practice a Disaster Plan: Talk to everyone in your household about what to do if a flood occurs. Decide where you would meet and who you would contact in case of flooding. Assemble and maintain an emergency preparedness kit. Be prepared to evacuate your family and pets at a moment’s notice. Listen to area radio and television stations for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress.
- Assemble an Emergency Preparedness Kit: Kits should contain a first aid kit and essential medications, foods that don’t require cooking or refrigeration and can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries, copies of important documents and other emergency items for the whole family.
- Download the Red Cross Flood App: This free app gives iPhone, iPad and Android smart phone users instant access to local and real-time information, so they know what to do before, during, and after a flood. The content is available in English and Spanish based on the user’s language settings on their mobile device. The app includes location-based, audible NOAA flood and flash flood watches and warnings – even if the app is closed.
For more information on how to give, get trained or get involved with the American Red Cross, visit redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at .