Friday, August 25, 2017 — As Hurricane Harvey nears land, the American Red Cross is mounting a massive relief effort ahead of the most deadly and devastating hurricane forecast to strike the United States in over a decade.
Hurricane Harvey will make landfall tonight along the Texas Gulf Coast with over 100 mph winds and up to 35 inches of rain, leading to devastating and life-threatening flooding. Tornadoes are also possible. The storm is expected to hover over parts of Texas and Louisiana for several days
Evacuation orders are in effect throughout parts of the two states. More than 90 people spent Thursday night in 7 Red Cross shelters and nearly 50 additional shelters are ready to open and support thousands of people if needed. People in the path of this storm should stay informed and immediately heed any evacuation orders underway from local officials.
“This is a dangerous storm and the next few days are going to challenge everyone along the Gulf Coast. This is the time for folks to come together to support one another,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president of Disaster Services Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. “We are launching our largest hurricane relief effort in years, and with the help of our partners, we are ready to shelter thousands of people.”
The Red Cross is mobilizing hundreds of trained Red Cross disaster relief workers, truckloads of kitchen supplies, and tens of thousands of ready-to-eat meals to support this response effort. Trailers full of shelter supplies including cots and blankets—enough to support more than 20,000 people—are arriving in Texas today. More than 40 Red Cross emergency response vehicles are activated with more on alert. The Red Cross is also working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners in both Texas and Louisiana to coordinate potential response efforts.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.
HURRICANE SAFETY STEPS
People can find a shelter by visiting redcross.org or by downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App. The Emergency App also puts real time information about the storm and hurricane safety tips at your fingertips. The app is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps. People should also follow these safety steps:Continue listening to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, be prepared to evacuate quickly if necessary. Follow evacuation orders and do not attempt to return until officials say it is safe to do so.Head for higher ground and stay there.Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Turn around, don’t drown. If driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.Keep children out of the water.Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to see flood danger.
During the storm:Stay indoors.Don’t walk on beaches, riverbanks or in flood waters.Use flashlights in the dark if the power goes out. Do NOT use candles.Turn off the power and water mains if instructed to do so by local authorities.Don’t forget your pets. Bring them indoors and maintain direct control of them. Prepare an emergency kit for your pets, including sturdy leashes or pet carriers, food and water, bowls, cat litter and pan, and photos of you with your pet in case they get lost.