The American Red Cross is preparing for Tropical Depression Nine, likely to be named Tropical Storm Isaac as it is forecasted to strengthen. The storm is projected to make landfall later this week in the Caribbean and could possibly impact Florida.
On the forecast track, the storm should emerge over the Eastern Caribbean Sea by Thursday morning. Tropical storm watches and warnings have been issued for areas in its path, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The storm is forecasted to become a hurricane within the next 72 hours. In preparation, the Red Cross is working with local government officials, identifying shelters, readying supplies and mobilizing disaster workers.
The Red Cross supports several disaster preparation and response programs in the Caribbean, with an emphasis on reducing risks and building safer communities. From setting up or improving early warning systems and securing roofs to digging drainage canals and mapping evacuation routes, the Red Cross is working with international partners to save lives during hurricane season and year long.
PREPARING FOR THE STORM The Red Cross urges individuals and families in the Caribbean, Florida and other areas prone to severe storms to take personal preparedness steps today to ensure the safety of loved ones and property. It is important to remember that a year ago this coming Monday, it was Hurricane Irene that devastated areas along the Eastern Seaboard, a storm originally forecasted to hit Florida.
For those who may be traveling to hurricane prone destinations, make sure to monitor weather reports and know what to do should a storm approach your location. Know the difference between a hurricane watch and warning. A hurricane watch is where conditions are a threat within 48 hours, whereas a hurricane warning is where conditions are expected within 36 hours.
How to prepare:
DOWNLOAD THE HURRICANE APP The Red Cross Hurricane App puts lifesaving information in the hands of people who live in or visit hurricane prone areas. The free app, for use on both iPhone and Android platforms, gives instant access to local, real time information on what to do before, during and after hurricanes.
The app also gives people across the country the ability to receive location based NOAA weather alerts and share those on their social networks. Users can even receive alerts for locations in coastal areas where they like to vacation or where loved ones live. This feature can give peace of mind to frequent travelers and people with relatives or college students in coastal areas.
Other practical features include:
Last year was one of the busiest seasons on record with 19 named systems, including Irene, one of the costliest storms in U.S. history. And further out in the Eastern Atlantic, weather experts are monitoring another potential storm that may veer towards the Caribbean and U.S. mainland. Amid peak hurricane season with storms approaching, all communities in hurricane prone areas should be prepared.