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Relief Efforts Transition to Damage Assessment and Recovery Planning

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(ASHEVILLE, N.C., June 1, 2018) The American Red Cross continues to provide assistance to families affected by recent storms. As of Friday morning, the shelter at First Baptist Church Swannanoa, 504 Park St., Swannanoa remains open. The shelter opened Thursday at the YMCA Corpening in Marion has been closed.

Relief efforts across several counties in western North Carolina will begin to transition to disaster assessment and begin recovery planning. Teams of Red Cross disaster trained volunteers will begin going to areas identified as being heavily damaged to assess the extent of damage and what type of resources may be needed.

 

“We encourage anyone returning to a flooded home or a home that has experienced water damage to take precautions to remain safe,” said Alli Trask, executive director, Red Cross Asheville-Mountain Area Chapter.  “There are many areas that have a lot of standing water that could be dangerous. In addition, there are still pop up storms in the forecast so we encourage people to continue to pay attention to their local weather reports and take precautions”

FLOOD SAFETY:

Know the difference between a flood/flash flood watch and a flood/flash flood warning. A flood/flash flood watch means a flood/flash flood is possible in your area. A flood/flash flood warning means flooding/flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground. Follow any evacuation orders.

 

·         Listen to local radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates. People should keep informed about weather conditions and listen to the advice of local officials.

·         Check emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply. Keep it nearby.

·         Turn around, don’t drown. If 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.

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

·         Keep children and pets out of the water.

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

RETURNING HOME:

·         After a flood, do not attempt to return to affected areas until officials say it is safe to do so.

·         Once you are able to go home, look for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, cracks in the foundation or other damage before you enter your home.

·         During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.

·         Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into your home with the floodwater.

·         If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.

·         If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.

·         Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local authorities for                          assistance with disposal to avoid risk.

         Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and             baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out.

For more tips on what to do before, during, and after flash floods or mudslides, visit RedCross.org or download the free Red Cross Emergency App. This all-inclusive app lets you monitor more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts, to help keep you and your loved ones safe.

HOW TO HELP:

Please click, text or call to donate to the Red Cross to help people affected by disasters big and small. Every single donation brings hope to those in need. Your gift enables the Red Cross to help people prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text 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 additional information, visit redcross.org.

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