Severe weather has been plaguing large parts of the country over the last several weeks and the American Red Cross urges people to take steps now to be ready if critical weather conditions are headed their way.
DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to have safety information, severe weather alerts and shelter locations available on their mobile device. Red Cross apps are available in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
THREE STEPS TO TAKE Get a kit. Make a plan, Be informed. Households should build disaster kits with enough supplies for at least three days, including water (one gallon, per person, per day), nonperishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, a 7-day supply of medications, a multi-purpose tool, sanitation and personal hygiene items and copies of important personal documents. They should also have an emergency plan in which each person knows how to reach other members of the household. The plan should also include an out-of-area emergency contact person, and where everyone should meet if they can't go home. Finally, people should stay informed about what kind of emergencies can occur where they live and know what to do to stay safe.
Information is available on redcross.org on what to do for many different emergencies – flood, tornadoes, hurricanes and more.
HOUSTON RESPONSE CONTINUES Weeks after floodwaters inundated the region, some people are still spending their days and nights in a shelter near Houston. Red Cross teams are also providing meals, health and mental health services, distributing relief supplies and meeting with those affected to plan their recovery as well as help with housing and making sure people with disabilities get the help they need. See one man’s story here.
HOW YOU CAN HELP The Red Cross needs the public’s help now. There have been three times more large-scale disasters during the first months of 2016 than the previous three years combined along with helping at the scene of hundreds of home fires and other smaller disasters every day.
People can give to Red Cross Disaster Relief to support disasters big and small by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.