Tropical Storm Isaac is moving towards Florida with heavy rain and flooding predicted for the state, and the American Red Cross is urging people in the potential path of the storm to get ready now.
“We urge folks who may be in the path of this storm to get prepared – to check their emergency supplies, finalize their hurricane plans, and listen closely to local officials for updates on the storm,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president for Red Cross Disaster Services.
GET READY Before the storm hits, people should prepare by taking the following steps:
IF FLOODING OCCURS, people should:
More information on what to do before, during and after a storm is available in the preparedness section of this web site.
RED CROSS HURRICANE APP People should download the free Red Cross Hurricane App for mobile devices which puts real time information on hurricane safety at their 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.
RED CROSS PREPARED TO RESPOND The Red Cross has mobilized hundreds of volunteers in Florida, 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.
In South Florida, Red Crossers and AmeriCorps volunteers have been working to make shelters more “kid-friendly.” “Without electricity, kids aren’t going to be able to play on their electronic games for long,” said Gilbert de Armas, a 32-year Red Cross volunteer and shelter manager. “Anyone who stays at a shelter knows it’s a stressful time for both kids and adults, so we’re trying to make it easier for everyone.”
In case Red Crossers open shelters in South Florida, AmeriCorps volunteers have pre-sorted a cache of donated crayons, coloring books, playing cards, and board games that will be distributed to all the open shelters in the area.
“I was overjoyed by the response to our call for donated items,” said Sylvia Taylor, Mass Care lead for the Red Cross in South Florida. “Our kids will be well entertained.”
Shelter managers like de Armas are on board with the plan and they will set aside an area where children can play together. “Sometimes when kids are in a shelter, they can feel anxious,” Taylor added. “We want them to feel more comfortable and to ease their minds of any worries relating to Tropical Storm Isaac.”
HOW TO HELP This is a major storm that will affect a wide area. Please who want to help can call, click or text to make a donation today. Please consider making 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.