National Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 9-15 and the American Red Cross urges everyone to plan now for any possible dangerous storms this year. Hurricane season starts June 1 and runs through November 30.
The last two hurricane seasons broke records. In 2020, on top of the pandemic there were 30 named storms with two hitting the East Coast before hurricane season started.
GETTING READY IS EASY There are simple steps you can take to be prepared:
- Create an evacuation plan. Plan what to do in case you are separated from your family during an emergency and if you have to evacuate. Coordinate your plan with your child’s school, your work and your community’s emergency plans. Plan multiple routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for pets. If you already have an emergency plan, update it and review with family members so everyone knows what to do if an emergency occurs.
- 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 and pets 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. Because of the pandemic, include a mask for everyone in your household.
- If you already have a disaster kit, now is the time make sure the food and water is still okay to consume and that copies of important documents are up to date.
- Be informed. Find out how local officials will contact you during a disaster and how you will get important information, such as evacuation orders.
- Download the free Red Cross Emergency app to help keep you and your loved ones safe with real-time alerts, open Red Cross shelter locations and safety advice on hurricanes and other emergencies.
- 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.
COVID-19 SAFETY As the pandemic continues, the Red Cross has procedures and resources in place to help ensure everyone’s safety, especially when it comes to supporting local communities if a hurricane threatens. The Red Cross is still providing the same types of support after disasters as we always have. This includes making sure people have a safe place to stay, food to eat and resources to help them recover. The Red Cross has put in place additional precautions, in line with CDC recommendations, including social distancing protocols, masks, health screenings and enhanced cleaning procedures.
Ensuring people have a safe place to stay during a disaster is a critical part of the Red Cross mission, but how we support sheltering efforts may be different in each community, depending on local emergency plans and the scale of the disaster. In some instances, we may open group shelters, while other times hotels may be more appropriate.
CORPORATIONS, FOUNDATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS HELP The generous donations from members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and the Disaster Responder Program enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters big and small, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur and help families during the recovery process.
ADGP $1 Million members are: Amazon; American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Anthem Foundation; Bank of America; Caterpillar Foundation; Costco Wholesale; Delta Air Lines; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; The Home Depot Foundation; Latter-day Saint Charities; Lilly Endowment Inc.; Marathon Petroleum Foundation, Inc.; Microsoft Corp.; Nationwide Foundation; State Farm; Truist Foundation; VSP Global; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; and Wells Fargo.
ADGP $500,000 members are: Altria Group; Aon; Capital One; Citi Foundation; The Clorox Company; The Coca-Cola Foundation; Delta Dental Community Care Foundation; Discover; Edison International; Energy Transfer/Sunoco Foundation; Ford Motor Company; Fox Corporation; General Motors; HCA Healthcare; International Paper; The J.M. Smucker Company; Johnson Controls Foundation; The Kroger Co. Foundation; LHC Group; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; Merck Foundation; Mondelēz International Foundation; New Balance Foundation; PayPal; PepsiCo Foundation; Progressive Insurance; Salesforce; Southeastern Grocers Home of BI-LO, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie; Southwest Airlines; Stanley Black & Decker; The Starbucks Foundation; Takeda Pharmaceutical; Target; The TJX Companies, Inc.; Toyota; United Airlines; UPS; The USAA Foundation, Inc.; Visa Foundation; The Walt Disney Company; and The Wawa Foundation.
Disaster Responder Program members are: 7-Eleven Cares Foundation; Adobe; American Express; Assurant; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; Avangrid Foundation; The Ball Foundation; Barclays; CarMax; Choice Hotels International; Cisco Foundation; CNA Insurance; The Coca-Cola Company; Consumer Cellular; CSX; Darden Foundation; The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation; Dominion Energy; Duke Energy; Equitable; FirstEnergy Foundation; Grainger; Harbor Freight Tools Foundation, LLC; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation; HP Foundation; Humble Bundle; Kaiser Permanente; Kimberly-Clark Corporation; The Kraft Heinz Company Foundation; Lenovo; Liberty Mutual Insurance; Mastercard; Northrop Grumman; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; Old Dominion Freight Line; Procter & Gamble; Prudential Financial; Raytheon Technologies; Rodan + Fields Prescription for Change Foundation; Ross Stores Foundation; Ryder System, Inc.; San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Security Finance’s Lending Hand Foundation; Tata Consultancy Services; TD Ameritrade; Trane Technologies; U-Haul International; and U.S. Bank Foundation.