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Be Prepared for Severe Weather from Hurricane Joaquin

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If the neighborhood is prone to flooding, prepare to evacuate quickly if necessary.

Heavy rains and flooding are expected from the southern states to the Mid-Atlantic region this weekend. The American Red Cross is preparing to respond if needed and is urging people to make sure they are fully prepared as well.

Hurricane Joaquin is expected to remain offshore over the weekend. However people can still expect to experience up to a foot of rain, flash flooding, coastal erosion and strong rip currents throughout the region – a combination of the effects of the hurricane and the storm system already hitting the region.

The Red Cross recommends that people living in threatened communities should keep informed about weather conditions and get prepared now.

Red Cross workers all along the eastern seaboard are mobilizing trained volunteers, supplies and equipment. Red Cross response vehicles are on alert and volunteers are ready to open shelters if needed. The Red Cross is also working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners to coordinate potential response efforts.

STEPS TO TAKE NOW

People can download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of hurricanes and flooding, as well as locations of shelters. Users can find it in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps. Parents can also download the Red Cross Monster Guard App for a fun way to teach children what to do in case of a flood or a hurricane.

SAFETY STEPS

1. Listen to local weather advisories and stay informed about the storms.

2. Build an emergency kit or update an existing one. Information about what to include is available here.

3. Plan now for what members of the household will do in an emergency. Include ways to contact one another and two places to meet – one near the home and one outside the neighborhood. Full details here.

4. Fill your vehicle’s gas tank and get some extra cash.

5. If the neighborhood is prone to flooding, prepare to evacuate quickly if necessary.

FLOOD SAFETY If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, you should be prepared to evacuate quickly if necessary. Some safety steps to remember include:

Head for higher ground and stay there.

Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way.

Turn around, don’t drown. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

Keep children out of the water.

Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to see flood danger.

HOW TO HELP

We need the continued support of the public to help people affected by disasters. In addition to the storms in the East, the Red Cross is still helping those impacted by the wildfires in California. People can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to support disasters big and small. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 26902, Lehigh Valley, PA 18002-6902.