Severe spring weather has come early. Drenching rain Sunday and Monday led to flooding in Kentucky and the American Red Cross is helping those affected. The National Weather Service reports more rain is expected in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina, which could lead to isolated flash floods. The Red Cross is monitoring the situation in case further response is needed.
Kentucky saw more than five inches of rain over Sunday and Monday, flooding homes, leaving some people stranded and washing out roads. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency. The National Guard was called to help move 91 people out of a nursing home in Salyersville and as many as 15 people had to be rescued from flooded homes and vehicles in Wolfe County.
The Red Cross helped more than 100 people Monday night with emergency lodging, including 60 people in hotel rooms and more than 40 people in three shelters. Red Cross volunteers are also providing meals and helping people with medical or disability needs and providing emotional support.
SPRING SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY Spring can produce severe weather in the form of thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding. Check out these Red Cross links to find safety information for the severe weather you may face in the coming weeks.
You can find safety information about all different kinds of emergencies in the Red Cross preparedness section of this web site. Information is available on what to do before, during and after the storm or other emergency.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO NOW There are steps people should take now to be ready if a weather emergency threatens their community. Planning is the key. They need to know what emergencies are most likely to happen where they live, learn, work and play. Being prepared is just a few short steps away:
1. GET A KIT. If you’ve ever fumbled to find a flashlight during a blackout, you know what it feels like to not be prepared. You should include:
- Three-day supply of non-perishable food and water — one gallon per person, per day for drinking and hygiene purposes
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit, medications and medical items
- Copies of important documents (proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies, etc.)
- Extra cash
2. MAKE A PLAN. Talk with household members about what you would do during emergencies. Plan what to do in case you are separated, and choose two places to meet — one right outside your home in case of a sudden emergency such as a fire, and another outside your neighborhood in case you cannot return home or are asked to evacuate.
- Choose a contact person from out of the area and make sure all household members have this person’s phone number and email address. It may be easier to call long distance or text if local phone lines are overloaded or out of service.
- Tell everyone in the household where emergency information and supplies are kept.
- Practice evacuating your home twice a year. Drive your planned evacuation route and plot alternate routes on a map in case main roads are impassable.
- Don’t forget your pets. If you must evacuate, make arrangements for your animals. Keep a phone list of “pet friendly” motels/hotels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes.
3. BE INFORMED. Know the risks where you live, work, learn and play.
- Arm yourself with information about what to do in case an emergency occurs. Remember that emergencies like fires and blackouts can happen anywhere, so everyone should be prepared for them.
- Find out how you would receive information from local officials in the event of an emergency.
- Learn first aid, CPR and how to use an AED so that you have the skills to respond in an emergency before help arrives, especially during a disaster when emergency responders may be delayed.
DOWNLOAD OUR APPS. The Red Cross Emergency app can help keep you and your loved ones safe with real-time alerts, shelter locations and safety advice. The Red Cross First Aid and Pet First Aid apps provide instant access to information on handling the most common emergencies. Download these apps for free by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps. Parents can also download the Red Cross Monster Guard App for a fun way to teach children what to do in case of a flood, hurricane and other emergencies.