Heavy rains brought flooding to the Midwest yesterday and the American Red Cross is helping in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin after flash floods forced people to leave their homes.
The threat of strong storms continues today with thunderstorms and strong winds pushing into the central Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic region which could lead to more flash flooding. The Red Cross has safety steps people should follow and is monitoring the storms to respond if necessary.
In Ohio, flash flooding occurred in several counties. The Red Cross opened shelters and will also provide food, relief supplies and work with individuals needing additional assistance. Flooding also occurred in Cass and Carroll counties in Indiana and the Red Cross opened shelters for people needing a safe place to stay.
Flooding was also a problem in northern Illinois which caused power outages and forced people to evacuate. The Red Cross opened shelters and provided food for those affected. And in Wisconsin, several storms caused wind damage and flooding. The Red Cross opened shelters and will be distributing clean-up kits throughout the affected neighborhoods.
FLOODING SAFETY INFORMATION
If your neighborhood is threatened with the possibility of flooding, here are some things you should do:
1. 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 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.
2. Talk with household members and create an evacuation plan. Practicing the plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
3. Be informed. Learn about the community’s disaster response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for pets.
4. Keep informed by listening to local media and be prepared to evacuate quickly.
5. Listen to and obey any evacuation orders from officials.
6. Know the difference between a flood watch and warning. A flood or flash flood watch means either is possible in your area. A warning means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon.
7. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
8. Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way.
9. If you come upon a flooded road while 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.
10. Keep children out of the water.
11. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of tornadoes, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.