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Time to Get Prepared as Isaac Moves Northward

Hurricane Preparedness
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.

As the American Red Cross prepares for Tropical Storm Isaac, the organization urges individuals and families in Florida and other Gulf States in the path of the storm to do the same and get ready now.

Isaac is expected to impact a wide area of the Southeast over the next few days. With more than a thousand volunteers mobilized in Florida, the Red Cross has already opened shelters for more than a hundred people and has pre-stocked 30,000 ready-to-eat meals.

The Red Cross also is mobilizing disaster workers, emergency vehicles, mobile kitchens and relief supplies to the Gulf Coast states as Isaac is expected to move into that area in the next few days – and residents there should be preparing 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.

In a disaster, every second counts and that’s why the Red Cross needs everyone to take preparedness steps now to keep their property and loved ones safe as Isaac nears. People in Florida should stay informed – look for critical information on the storm’s progress from the National Weather Service and leave the area if authorities direct them to do so. Those along the Gulf Coast who may be in the path of the storm should make their storm preparations now.

BEFORE THE STORM HITS, people should:

  • Check and restock or replace disaster supplies – keep at least a three-day supply of water and non-perishable food per person on hand.
  • Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If someone does not have hurricane shutters, they should close and board up their windows and doors with plywood.
  • Fill their vehicle’s gas tank.
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind, like outdoor furniture.
  • Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep closed as much as possible so food will last longer if the power goes out.
  • IF POWER OUTAGES OCCUR, people should:

  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. First use perishable food from the refrigerator and freezer.
  • For possible prolonged power outages, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items.
  • Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment and appliances.
  • Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights will be out and roads will be congested.
  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home or any partially enclosed space.
  • IF FLOODING OCCURS, people should:

  • Be prepared to evacuate quickly.
  • If a flood or flash flood warning is issued, head for higher ground and stay there.
  • Stay away from floodwaters and flooded roads. Be especially cautious at night.
  • 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.

    HOW TO HELP This is a major storm that will affect a wide area. People who want to help can call, click or text to make a donation today. Please consider making a donation by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

    About the American 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, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.