Three strong storms are headed to the United States, one in the Pacific Ocean headed toward Hawaii and two in the Gulf of Mexico streaming toward the Gulf Coast. The American Red Cross is preparing to respond and urges people in the path of these storms to get ready now.
Hurricane Douglas is headed toward Hawaii over the weekend with rain, wind and heavy ocean swells, while Tropical Storm Hanna is predicted to hit Texas and Louisiana with wind, four to eight inches of rain and life-threatening surf swells and rip currents. All while Tropical Storm Gonzalo is streaming toward islands in the Caribbean and could head toward the Gulf Coast by the end of next week.
The Red Cross is preparing to respond and urges everyone near these areas to get ready now. Following are safety steps to follow:
- Know the difference between a watch and warning. A WATCH means a hurricane, tropical storm or flooding is possible. A WARNING means conditions are expected within 36 hours. Take immediate precautions.
- Get your home ready. Cover windows with storm shutters or plywood. Store outside items, such as lawn furniture and trash cans, to prevent them from being moved by high winds and possibly hurting someone.
- Tune into your local radio, NOAA radio or news channels for the latest updates. Obey evacuation orders from local officials.
- Check your emergency kit and replace any missing items.
- Prepare to evacuate quickly and know your routes and destinations.
- Fill your car's gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.
- Never ride out a severe storm in a mobile home, even if it’s in a non-evacuation zone.
- Don’t forget your pets. Bring them indoors and maintain direct control of them. Prepare a pet emergency kit with leashes or carriers, food, water, bowls, cat litter and box, and photos of you with your pet in case you are separated.
- Stay indoors; avoid beaches, riverbanks and floodwaters. Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding. Don't walk, swim or drive through floodwaters. Remember: Turn around, don’t drown.
- Use flashlights in the dark if the power goes out. Avoid using candles.
Download the free Red Cross Emergency App for real-time weather alerts, open shelters and expert advice on emergency situations. 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.
The Red Cross has guidance available in multiple languages on getting prepared while still protecting yourself from COVID-19 here.
Visit redcross.org/hurricane for full hurricane safety information.