You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

American Red Cross Reminds Community to Get Prepared


With the central and southern United States dealing with the devastation left behind from deadly severe storms -- and with the threat of potentially life-threatening severe weather here in the bi-state, the American Red Cross of Eastern Missouri reminds everyone to prepare: Know what to do before, during and after the storm.

**Please call 314-406-1920 for media interviews about severe weather preparedness**

Preparing for/During Severe Weather/Tornado

  • Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information.
  • Invest in a NOAA weather radio to stay informed about watches and warnings.
  • Know your community’s warning system. Communities have different ways of warning residents about tornadoes.
  • Pick a safe room in your home where household members and pets may gather in a tornado. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a storm cellar, or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. Keep this place uncluttered.
  • If you are in a high-rise building, you may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. Pick a place in a hallway -- without windows -- in the center of the building.
  • Watch for tornado danger signs:

  • Dark, often greenish clouds — a phenomenon caused by hail
  • Wall cloud — an isolated lowering of the base of a thunderstorm
  • Cloud of debris
  • Large hail
  • Funnel cloud — a visible rotating extension of the cloud base
  • Roaring noise
  • If you have enough warning time ahead of a storm, prepare for high winds by removing diseased and damaged limbs from trees or yard; and secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that could be picked up by wind.
  • Know what a tornado watch and warning mean and invest in a NOAA weather radio to stay informed about when watches and warnings are issued in your area.
  • What to do if in mobile home or outside:

  • Mobile homes are NOT safe – get to a safe structure immediately.
  • Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter.
  • If flying debris occurs while you are driving, pull over and park.
  • Now you have the following options as a last resort:
  • Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering with your hands and a blanket if possible.
  • If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.
  • Your choice should be driven by your specific circumstances.
  • Assemble an emergency kit:
  • Water — at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day
  • Food — at least a 3-day supply of nonperishable, easy-to-prepare food
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radio
  • (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
  • Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Tornado Apps

    The Red Cross urges everyone to download its free, official Emergency! App. It puts lifesaving information right in the hands of people who live in disaster-prone areas.

    The Red Cross Emergency! App — available in English or Spanish — gives iPhone, iPad, Android smart phone and some tablet users instant access to local and real-time information.

    All Red Cross mobile apps can be found here or from the iTunes or Google Plan stores by searching for American Red Cross.

    The Red Cross is part of the “All Ready” campaign, a unified effort among emergency preparedness experts in the bi-state region that focuses on the importance of individual preparedness. The campaign encourages the three critical steps of preparedness: Make a plan, Get a kit, Be informed.

    Locally, the American Red Cross of Eastern Missouri is a proud member agency of the United Way, which makes significant investments every year in Red Cross services.

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at