Oahu Red Cross volunteers will be assessing the hardest hit areas for damages caused by Ana. The Red Cross responds on the scene of disasters with focus on providing safe shelter, emotional health support, physical health services, and distributing emergency relief supplies like hygiene items and cleaning-up supplies.
The Red Cross asks that any Oahu residents with storm related damage to their living area call the Oahu Red Cross hotline at 853-8609.
RETURNING HOME AFTER THE STORM
The Red Cross advises that people should return home only when officials say it is safe. Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates and stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding.
Follow these tips when returning home, especially if you experienced flooding:
• Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
• Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
• If possible, leave children and pets with a relative or friend. If not, keep them away from hazards and floodwater.
• Beware of rodents, insects, and other animals that may be on your property or in your home.
• Before entering your home, look outside for damaged power lines, gas lines, foundation cracks and other exterior damage. It may be too dangerous to enter the home.
• Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.
• Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
• Smell for gas. If you smell natural gas or propane, or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and contact the fire department.
• If your home was flooded, assume it is contaminated with mold. Mold increases health risks for those with asthma, allergies or other breathing conditions.
• Open doors and windows. Let the house air out before staying inside for any length of time if the house was closed for more than 48 hours.
• Turn the main electrical power and water systems off until you or a professional can ensure that they are safe. NEVER turn the power on or off, or use and electrical tool or appliance while standing in water.
• Check the ceiling and floor for signs of sagging. Water may be trapped in the ceiling or floors may be unsafe to walk on.
How You Can Help
Volunteer. The Hawaii Red Cross continually recruits, trains and mobilizes volunteers to help those in need. Over 95% of services are provided by volunteers. All disaster training, services, and financial assistance to victims is free, through the generosity of our donors, volunteers, and the community. Interested volunteers can go to http://www.redcross.org/hi/honolulu/volunteer/apply-to-volunteer for volunteer training opportunities or can call 808-739-8130 for questions.
Donate. Help people affected by disasters like Tropical Storm Ana and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org/donate, or call 1-800-REDCROSS. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter, or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
For more updates, follow the Hawaii Chapter of the American Red Cross on Twitter at @HawaiiRedCross. You can also contact the Hawaii Chapter at 808-734-2101 or visit redcross.org/hawaii.