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SAN DIEGO- Jan. 5, 2016 – In response to severe flooding throughout the various parts of San Diego County, American Red Cross disaster workers are opening a shelter this evening at the College Avenue Baptist Church located at 4747 College Ave., San Diego 92115.

The shelter will provide for the immediate needs of those affected by the storm who do not have a place to stay tonight. Services include a safe and clean place to stay, food and back up clothing, comfort kits with personal hygiene items, emotional support and health services. Breakfast will be served in the morning. The shelter will remain open for as long as there is a need.

The local American Red Cross is dedicated to assisting those affected by disasters. Trained Red Cross volunteers and staff are on call round-the-clock and ready to assist in various aspects including sheltering, feeding, disaster assessment, casework, and more. The San Diego/Imperial Counties chapter responds to a disaster every 24 hours.

TIPS - Flooding

The Red Cross reminds everyone in flood-affected areas to stay safe. Download the Red Cross’ Emergency App but keep in mind the following key tips:

  Listen to area radio and television stations 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.

  Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

The Red Cross also offers these tips for after the floodwaters have receded:

   Return home only when officials have declared the area safe.

   Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.

   Parts of your home may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.

   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.

   Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.

   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.

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

   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!

   Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.

   Contact your local or state public health department for specific recommendations for boiling or treating water in your area after a disaster as water may be contaminated.

More tips and other information can be found at or via

About the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties

The American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties is the most trusted community service organization in education, preparation and response to natural disasters and human emergencies. With the public’s ongoing support we provide lifesaving preparedness training; disaster relief services; services to deployed military personnel and their families; and nutritional counseling through our Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. Through Prepare San Diego, a four-year regional resiliency initiative, the Red Cross brings together key community and business leaders from the region to create a sustainable network that encourages preparedness, carries out response and recovery plans, and strives for resiliency in the face of disaster, meeting all aspects of the disaster lifecycle.  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 or connect with us on Facebook and YouTube and Twitter.