A new storm system is forming which experts say could head for the Gulf Coast, including Florida, sometime next week and the American Red Cross urges people in the region to begin their storm preparations now.
Some models show the system growing to hurricane strength over the next few days and possibly hitting the west coast of Florida. People near and along the Gulf and southeast U.S. coasts, including Florida, should watch their weather forecasts and prepare now in case the predictions are correct.
Until recently, the Atlantic Hurricane Season was relatively quiet. Then Hurricane Fiona slammed into Puerto Rico, leaving behind massive destruction. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) cautions everyone that they still expect 14 to 20 named storms with 6 to 10 becoming hurricanes and the possibility of as many as 5 major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher. Hurricane season runs until November 30.
RED CROSS GETTING READY The Red Cross is watching the new storm and getting prepared to make sure help is available to anyone left in need by a disaster. These efforts include updating response plans in coordination with local partners, refreshing our stock of relief supplies including cots, blankets and cleaning supplies, and planning to move disaster workers, equipment and supplies to the area if necessary.
HOW TO GET READY Just follow these steps to help make sure your family is ready to either evacuate or hunker down if a storm threatens your community.
- First, create an evacuation plan. Plan what to do in case you are separated from your family during an emergency or if you need to evacuate.
- 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 infants or pets, 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.
- Stay 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 have severe weather safety information right at your fingertips. The Emergency app provides real-time weather alerts and tips on how to stay safe during severe weather and countless other emergencies. Search “American Red Cross” in app stores or go to redcross.org/apps.
You can find more hurricane safety information here.