RALEIGH, Aug. 29, 2016 – With a tropical system gaining strength off the North Carolina coast, the American Red Cross reminds everyone that hurricane season runs until Nov. 30, and urges all residents in hurricane-prone areas to take key preparedness steps.
“As we continue to see tropical storms build in the Atlantic, it is important North Carolina coast residents are prepared. With Tropical Depression Eight approaching, and anticipated to reach tropical storm strength, it’s a reminder to take steps now,” said Barry Porter, regional CEO of the Red Cross in Eastern North Carolina.
Here’s how to get prepared:
BUILD A KIT Every household should build an emergency kit in an easy-to-carry container in case they have to leave their home quickly. The kit should contain the following:
• A three-day supply of water—one gallon per person per day
• A three-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
• Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
• Extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
• Multi-purpose tool
• Sanitation and personal hygiene items
• Copies of important documents such as a list of medications someone takes and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies
• Cell phone with chargers
• Family and emergency contact information
• Extra cash
• Emergency blanket
• Map(s) of the area
MAKE A PLAN Every household should develop an emergency plan and know what they should do if something occurs. The plan should include ways to contact and find one another. Include two places to meet – one near the home and one outside the neighborhood in case circumstances prevent people from returning home. The plan should also identify an emergency contact person from outside the area in case local telephone lines are overloaded or out of service.
Plans should include decisions about where everyone will go if ordered to evacuate and what route they will take to get there. When discussing evacuation, everyone should include several different routes in case roads are closed. If pets are part of the household, they should be considered, including where they could be safe if the family has to evacuate such as pet-friendly motels and animal shelters along the evacuation route. Next, people should practice evacuating their home twice a year by driving the planned evacuation route and plotting alternate routes in case roads are impassable.
BE INFORMED Everyone also needs to stay informed about how officials will communicate with them during an emergency. It is also important to take a first aid and CPR/AED course—a vital component of disaster preparedness in case emergency help is delayed.
DOWNLOAD THE EMERGENCY APP The Red Cross Emergency App contains information on how to prepare households and what to do during and after a storm. Users can receive weather alerts for their area as well as areas where their loved ones live.
The free Emergency App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps. For more information on how to prepare for all kinds of disasters, people can visit www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster.