Red Cross Mobilizes To Respond to Tropical Storm Karen

Storm Surge
Red Cross issues safety steps for people in the path of the storm.

Tropical Storm Karen is expected to hit the Gulf Coast this weekend and the Red Cross is preparing to respond across five states.

The Red Cross is mobilizing trained workers, supplies and equipment to help if needed. Shelter locations are being identified and all emergency response vehicles from Louisiana to Georgia are on alert. Dozens of trailers filled with cots, blankets, comfort kits and kitchen supplies are also in the area, ready to move in if necessary. The Red Cross is also working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners to coordinate potential response efforts.

Storm watches and warnings are posted for communities across the Gulf Coast as the storm nears, predicted to bring 60 mph winds, coastal storm surges and four to eight inches of rain. The Red Cross urges people in the path of the storm to prepare for severe weather now in case their community is affected.

GET READY People in the path of the storm should get ready now by taking the following steps:

  • Check or update emergency kits. Include a three-day supply of water for each person and food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated, flashlights, a battery-operated radio, first aid kit, medications, personal hygiene items, important papers like deeds and insurance papers, cell phone and charger and extra cash.
  • Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If someone does not have hurricane shutters, they should close and board up their windows and doors with plywood.
  • Fill their vehicle’s gas tank.
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind, like outdoor furniture.
  • Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep closed as much as possible so food will last longer if the power goes out.
  • HURRICANE APP Those in the path of the storm can download the free Red Cross Hurricane App which puts real time information on hurricane and tropical storm safety at someone’s fingertips. The app, also available in Spanish, features information on Red Cross shelters and a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm. The one-touch “I’m Safe” button lets someone use social media outlets to let family and friends know they are okay. The Hurricane App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

    HOW TO HELP As Tropical Storm Karen nears the Gulf Coast, the Red Cross is also on alert to respond if needed to heavy snow in the west, dangerous fire conditions in California and severe weather in the plains. To do so, we need the continued support of the public to help those in need.

  • Please consider making a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief today by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
  • Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
  • 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 or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.