South Carolina has recently experienced heavy rains and coastal flooding, and with more heavy rainfall predicted through the weekend, the American Red Cross is urging residents to prepare now for the potential of widespread flooding.
“The Red Cross is encouraging residents take steps to prepare should they be affected by flooding,” said Louise Welch Williams, regional chief executive officer for the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross.
Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters and the Red Cross has some easy ways that people can prepare for and stay safe during flooding.
· Listen to local weather advisories and stay informed about the storms.
· Build an emergency kit or update an existing one. Information about what to include is available here.
· 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.
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· Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS)
· Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
· When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, 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. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
· 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. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
· Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
· Because standard homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flooding, it’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more flood safety tips and information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at .
The Red Cross urges you to share these tips with every member of your household so everyone can stay safe.
DOWNLOAD THE FREE RED CROSS EMERGENCY APP
The free makes it easy to prepare for severe weather by providing instant access to weather and emergency alerts, life-saving information and ways to contact family and friends in case an event occurs. The app covers 14 different types of disasters including tornadoes and flooding and lets users customize more than 35 emergency alerts for themselves and where loved ones live. The app contains preloaded content so users can access guidance from Red Cross experts even without mobile connectivity, and allows users to easily toggle between Spanish and English.
The app is available in app stores by searching for the Red Cross Emergency or by going to redcross.org/apps.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people.
Help people affected by disasters like floods 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 chapter of the American Red Cross.
For more updates, follow the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross on Twitter at @RedCrossSC.