Heavy rains and flooding are threatening communities in the Mid-Atlantic even before Hurricane Joaquin is forecast to approach the U.S. late this weekend. The Red Cross is preparing to respond in multiple states and urges people in the path of the storm to get ready too.
“With South Carolina being threatened by heavy rains and Joaquin off the coast, people should stay informed about weather conditions and get prepared now,” said Louise Welch Williams, regional chief executive officer for the American Red Cross.
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.
- Listen to local weather advisories and stay informed about the storm.
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.
- Fill your vehicle’s gas tank and get some extra cash.
- If the neighborhood is prone to flooding, prepare to evacuate quickly if necessary.
- If ordered to evacuate, obey the order, avoiding flooded roads and washed out bridges.
- If flooding threatens, head for higher ground and stay there.
- Turn around, don’t drown. If someone comes upon water above their ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. If a roadway is flooded, turn the vehicle around and go another way.
- If caught on a flooded road and the waters are rising rapidly, 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.
- Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to see flood danger.
“The Red Cross is getting ready in states all along the East Coast – calling volunteers and getting supplies, vehicles and relief equipment ready,” said Williams. “Residents should take this time to get ready too.”
For more information about preparing for and recovering from floods, download the free Flood Safety Checklist from RedCross.org/SC. For updates, follow the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross on Twitter at @RedCrossSC.
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 more information, please visit redcross.org/SC or follow us on Twitter @RedCrossSC.