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Hurricane Matthew travels through Caribbean; Red Cross issues steps to prepare for the storm in Eastern NC

RALEIGH, Oct. 3, 2016 — For the next several days, Hurricane Matthew is expected to travel through the Caribbean, potentially then tracking toward the coast of North Carolina.

Although Matthew’s path is uncertain, the Red Cross is urging residents in Eastern North Carolina to be prepared.

“The better prepared folks are, the safer they will be should Hurricane Matthew impact our coastline,” said Barry Porter, regional chief executive officer of the Red Cross in Eastern NC. “The Red Cross encourages residents to build a kit of necessities, ready their homes, and make a plan with their families.” 

PREPARING FOR THE STORM     

Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio (Available on the Red Cross Store) for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).

Check your disaster supplies. Replace or restock as needed.

Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).

Close your windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.

Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting. Keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.

Turn off propane tank.

Unplug small appliances.

Fill your car’s gas tank.

Create a hurricane evacuation plan with members of your household. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.

Find out about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs and make plans for your pets to be cared for.

Obey evacuation orders. Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.

Standard homeowners 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 information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program website at www.FloodSmart.gov

People should also download the free Red Cross Emergency App to select up to 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts on their mobile device. The content includes expert guidance on what to do before, during and after different emergencies or disasters from home fires to hurricanes. All Red Cross apps can be found in smartphone app stores by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/apps.

For more information on recommended supplies to pack, a copy of the hurricane safety checklist, or for recovery tips, visit redcross.org.  

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 or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.