A little over four months after Typhoon Mawar left major damage on Guam and the Mariana Islands, Tropical Storm Bolaven is headed to the region which could cause new destruction in the U.S. territories. The American Red Cross is preparing to respond as it continues to help people impacted by the earlier storm.
Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands are on high alert. Tropical Storm Bolaven is getting stronger and continues to grow as it nears the islands. The storm is expected to impact weather conditions starting Monday and as much of eight inches of rain and tropical storm force winds are possible.
The two territories have a population of almost 200,000 people, many of whom live in coastal communities. Mawar made landfall in May and left most of the islands without power, damaged water systems and communication towers and heavily damaged or destroyed a number of structures. Hundreds of Red Cross disaster workers from all over the country deployed to the region to help. The Red Cross is still there, working with partners to support people as they get back on their feet.
The Red Cross has already deployed relief supplies and more than a dozen disaster responders, including a National Incident Command Team to help the region get ready for the storm. Red Cross disaster workers will work with officials and partners to get help to where it is needed as quickly as possible.
Guam is home to several major U.S. military facilities and the Red Cross will support service members, their families and veterans if needed as we did after Typhoon Mawar.
STORM SAFETY The climate crisis is causing storms to grow faster and bring heavier rain. Here are steps people on the islands should follow to help them stay safe:
- If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Know where you will go, how you will get there and where you will stay.
- Plan to shelter safely. Be ready to live without power, water, gas, phone and internet for a long time.
- Be aware that flooding can happen quickly. Have a plan to evacuate fast before floodwaters reach you.
- Plan to stay connected. Sign up for free emergency alerts from your local government. Monitor local weather and news.
- Have a backup battery or a way to charge your cell phone.
- Understand the types of alerts that you may receive and have a plan to respond when you receive them. - A WATCH means Be Prepared! - A WARNING means Take Action!
- Gather food, water and medicine. Pack at least three days of supplies that you can carry with you. If you plan to shelter at home, gather at least two weeks of supplies. Have a 1-month supply of medication in a child-proof container and medical supplies or equipment.
- Keep personal, financial and medical records safe and easy to access (hard copies or securely backed up).
- Secure or bring inside outdoor items such as lawn furniture and trash cans that could be picked up by high winds and hurt someone. Protect windows with permanent storm shutters or sheeting.
- Download the free Red Cross First Aid app so you’ll know what to do if emergency help is delayed and the free Emergency app for weather alerts, open Red Cross shelter locations and safety steps for different emergencies. Choose whether you want to view the content in English or Spanish with an easy-to-find language selector. Find these and all of the Red Cross apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
YOU CAN HELP people affected by disasters like storms, wildfires and countless other crises by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Blood donations are also critically important to ensure patient needs are met. Financial contributions enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.