Miss. Red Cross Urges People to Get Ready for Tropical Weather

Hurricane App
Being prepared is the best way to ensure people stay safe, and the Red Cross has resources to help people plan for emergencies and prepare their households and workplaces.

JACKSON, MISS., THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2013— The American Red Cross is urging residents, businesses and organizations in South Mississippi to make sure they are prepared for rain, strong winds and possible flooding from Tropical Storm Karen.

A survey by the American Red Cross and The Weather Channel found that few Americans living in coastal counties have taken necessary action to prepare for severe tropical storms and hurricanes. While more than half of those surveyed said they are concerned they may be in harm’s way because of a storm, only about half have an evacuation plan or a plan for communicating with family members if they get separated. Nearly a third of people did not have an emergency kit with supplies.

With Tropical Storm Karen poised to threaten the area, the Red Cross encourages people in the Mississippi Region to download the free Red Cross Hurricane App, create or update their family disaster plan and restock their emergency preparedness kits.

The Hurricane App is available in English or Spanish for both iPhone and Android platforms. It gives users instant access to local and real time information on what to do before, during and after hurricanes. The app also includes a number of features that allow people to monitor personalized weather alerts in locations where family and friends reside and share information with others in their social networks who might also need it. The Hurricane App can be found in the iTunes or Google Play app stores by searching for American Red Cross.

“We want everyone to be to be ready for the possible effects of the storm,” said Bob Devaney, Disaster Services Officer for the American Red Cross Mississippi Region. “Being prepared is the best way to ensure people stay safe, and the Red Cross has resources to help people plan for emergencies and prepare their households and workplaces.”

STORM PREPARATION The Red Cross recommends steps people can take now to prepare for the storm. Now is the time to check disaster supplies and replace or restock needed items, to bring anything inside that can be picked up by the wind and to fill the car up with gas. Other steps include:

  • Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If shutters are not available, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
  • Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep them closed as much as possible so food will last longer if the power goes out.
  • Turn off any propane tanks and unplug small appliances.
  • Create or update the household hurricane evacuation plan and go over it with members of the household.
  • Find out about the community’s hurricane response plan and plan routes to local shelters.
  • More information about what to do during and after a storm is available on 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/mississippi or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossMiss.