JACKSON, MS, MONDAY, MAY 27, 2013–As the 2013 Hurricane Season begins, the American Red Cross reminds those living in areas where hurricanes are a threat to get prepared now. Hurricane season begins June 1 ends November 30.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts an active season for hurricanes with 13 to 20 storms in the Atlantic Ocean. Of these storms, seven to 11 could strengthen to a hurricane with winds of 74 mph or higher, with as many as six becoming major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher.
“Getting ready now can reduce the impact of hurricanes,” said Don Stephens, Mississippi Region interim emergency services director. “Any one of these storms could pose a serious threat to people. Getting prepared ahead of time is the best way to be ready for any emergency of weather disaster.”
WHAT TO DO
The Red Cross offers steps to get ready for hurricane season. These steps include the following.
• Build an emergency kit with a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for an infant if applicable, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information. Many of these items are available through the Red Cross Store.
• Talk with household members and create an evacuation plan. Planning and practicing evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
• Be informed. Learn about the community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for pets to be cared for.
• Because 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.
READY RATING™ TOOLS FOR BUSINESSES, SCHOOLS, ORGANIZATIONS
The Red Cross Ready Rating™ program helps businesses, schools and other organizations prepare for emergencies that can disrupt daily operations. Ready Rating™ offers specific steps that organizations can take to be better prepared. It includes a planning tool to help their employees or members know what their roles are in the early hours of an emergency, what their next steps are, and a resource center with tools that help businesses, employees and students develop and practice preparedness plans.
More information about this valuable program and the new components can be found at readyrating.org.
For more information on hurricane preparedness, contact the local Red Cross or visit redcross.org/mississippi.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross Mississippi Region shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters, supports the supply of 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, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @RedCrossMiss.