What may become Tropical Storm Isaias is headed toward Puerto Rico, The Bahamas, Haiti and the U.S. Virgin Islands with 45 mph winds and as much as six inches of rain. These conditions could lead to dangerous flash flooding and landslides. The system eventually could affect the U.S. mainland later in the week.
Shelters are managed by the government on Puerto Rico, but the American Red Cross is preparing to support sheltering efforts if needed and has safety steps people in the path of the storm should follow.
In the Bahamas, the American Red Cross is supporting the Bahamas Red Cross in preparing for potential storm activity and working alongside local government officials who operate shelters. Since Hurricane Dorian in 2019, the American Red Cross helped equip the Bahamas Red Cross with new laptops and new satellite phones to improve communications capabilities and purchased three trucks and forklifts to help in moving relief supplies. The Bahamas Red Cross contributes to a government food security program to provide food and food parcels to vulnerable people.
More emergency information from the Red Cross in Puerto Rico is available here.
Follow the Red Cross of the Virgin Islands here.
The Bahamas Red Cross has information here.
FLASH FLOOD SAFETY
- Listen to local radio or news channels for the latest updates, and follow instructions from local officials to help keep your family safe.
- If you live in an area prone to flooding, check where you should go to be safe.
- Be prepared to evacuate quickly and know your routes and destinations. Find a local emergency shelter. Follow evacuation orders and don’t return until officials say it is safe
- Check your emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply, especially medications or other medical supplies. Remember to include masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in your backpack. Keep it nearby.
- Turn around, don’t drown. Stay off the roads. If you must drive and you encounter a flooded roadway, turn around and go another way.
Should landslides become a threat, people should remember the following:
- Listen to local news stations on a battery-powered radio for warnings of heavy rainfall.
- If you suspect you are in danger, evacuate immediately. Inform close neighbors and contact your fire or police department. Always take your animals with you.
- Consider a precautionary evacuation of large or numerous animals as soon as you are aware of impending danger.
- Choose an alternate site to sleep, if a landslide watch or warning has been issued. Many landslide fatalities occur when people are sleeping.
- Listen for unusual sounds that might indicate moving debris. This includes trees cracking or boulders knocking together.
- Be especially alert when driving. Watch for collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks and other indications of a possible debris flow.
Download the free Red Cross Emergency App for real-time weather alerts and expert advice on floods. The Emergency App includes an “I’m Safe” feature that helps people check on loved ones. Search “American Red Cross” in app stores, or go to redcross.org/apps.