The American Red Cross is preparing to respond as Idalia heads toward Florida, forecast to be a dangerous major hurricane when the storm makes landfall Wednesday morning. The Red Cross urges everyone in Idalia’s potential path to monitor their local weather and be prepared for this storm.
In Florida, the heavy rain and dangerous storm surge could lead to major flooding along the shoreline and in normally dry areas inland. Later this week, the storm is also likely to cause heavy rain in Georgia and the Carolinas.
As a result of the climate crisis, scientists warn that hurricanes are becoming more intense and more destructive with increased rainfall and higher storm surges. As extreme weather increases, more people need help from the Red Cross. Find out more about the Red Cross and its work on the climate crisis at redcross.org/climate.
The Red Cross has pre-positioned disaster teams and truckloads of supplies to support communities who may be impacted by the storm. We are monitoring the storm closely and working with government officials and community partners as we prepare to respond. The Red Cross is pre-positioning blood products in advance of the storm and stands ready to provide additional blood products if hospitals need support. Additional volunteers and emergency supplies are on standby in case they are needed.
YOU CAN HELP people affected by disasters like storms, wildfires and countless other crises by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief or scheduling an appointment to give blood.
Blood donations are critically important to ensure patient needs are met. Large storm systems often force the cancellation of blood drives in affected areas. The need for blood is constant, and the Red Cross is already experiencing a concerning shortfall in donations. Those in unthreatened areas are encouraged to make and keep blood donation appointments to ensure we can meet the needs of patients whenever and wherever they arise.
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 (1-800-733-2767), or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Schedule an appointment to donate today by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Our volunteers are at the heart of our mission and represent 90% of our workforce. Visit redcross.org/volunteertoday to sign up for opportunities with your local chapter. Our most-needed disaster positions include supporting shelters and providing health services.
IF YOU ARE IN THE STORM’S PATH:
It’s critical to listen to the advice of local authorities and evacuate immediately if asked to do so. Tune into your local radio, NOAA radio or news channel for the latest updates. We encourage safety and being out of harm’s way above all.
It’s also important to know the difference between a watch and a warning. A watch means conditions are likely and to stay alert — a warning means act now.
Download the free Emergency app for instant access to full weather alerts, help preparing for emergency situations and locations of open Red Cross shelters. Content can be viewed in English or Spanish, and is accessible for people with disabilities. Red Cross apps are available in the app store as well as on redcross.org/apps.
In the coming days, emergency shelters are likely to open in some areas. Anyone who needs a safe place to go can find information about open shelters on redcross.org, the free Red Cross Emergency app or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767). You can also check with local officials and monitor local news for information on where to find emergency shelter. In Florida, visit floridadisaster.org.
We encourage people who plan to stay in a Red Cross shelter to bring prescription medications, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, other comfort items and important documents. Don’t forget to bring any special items for children, such as diapers, formula and toys, or for family members who have unique needs.
Take these steps to get your household ready.
Create an evacuation plan. Plan what to do in case you are separated from your family during an emergency and if you have to evacuate. Coordinate your plan with your child’s school, your work and your community’s emergency plans. Plan multiple routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for pets. If you already have an emergency plan, update it and review with family members so everyone knows what to do if an emergency occurs.
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 and pets 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. If you already have a disaster kit, now is the time make sure the food and water is still okay to consume and that copies of important documents are up to date.
Be 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 Emergency app for instant access to full weather alerts, help preparing for emergency situations and open Red Cross shelter locations. Choose whether you want to view the content in English or Spanish with an easy-to-find language selector. The Emergency app is accessible so that people with disabilities can use it and is compatible with Apple Watch and Android Wearable devices. Find all of the Red Cross apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
Standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. It’s important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program website at www.FloodSmart.gov.
Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) Through the generosity of our American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and Disaster Responder members, the American Red Cross is prepared before disaster strikes. ADGP and Disaster Responder members help secure a reliable funding base for disaster relief services that enables the Red Cross to respond immediately, meeting the needs of individuals and families affected by disaster, regardless of cost.
ADGP $1M Members: Amazon; American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Bank of America; Best Buy; Caterpillar Foundation; Costco Wholesale ; Delta Air Lines; Elevance Health Foundation; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; Lilly Endowment Inc.; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; McDonald’s Corporation; Microsoft Corp.; Nationwide Foundation; PayPal; PetSmart Charities; The Pfizer Foundation; The Starbucks Foundation; State Farm; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited; Truist Foundation; VSP Vision; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; Wells Fargo
ADGP $500k Members: Altria Group; American Express; Aon; Bread Financial; Capital One; CarMax; Citi Foundation; The Clorox Company; Danaher Foundation; Darden Foundation; Delta Dental; Dollar General; Edison International; Energy Transfer/Sunoco Foundation; Ford Motor Company Fund; Fox Corporation; General Motors; Google.org; HCA Healthcare; The Home Depot Foundation; International Paper; The J.M. Smucker Company; Johnson Controls Foundation; Kaiser Permanente; The Kraft Heinz Company Foundation; The Kroger Co. Foundation; Liberty Mutual Insurance; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Mastercard; Merck; Mondelēz International Foundation; New Balance Foundation; PepsiCo Foundation; Salesforce; Southeastern Grocers Gives Foundation & Southeastern Grocers, home of Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie; Target; The TJX Companies, Inc; Toyota; United Airlines; UPS; USAA; U.S. Bank Foundation; Visa Foundation; The Walt Disney Company; The Wawa Foundation
Disaster Responder Members: 7-Eleven Cares Foundation; Adobe; The AES Corporation; Ameriprise Financial; Assurant; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; Avangrid Foundation Barclays; Big 5 Sporting Goods; Build-A-Bear Foundation; CDW; Choice Hotels International; Cisco Foundation; CNA Insurance; The Coca-Cola Foundation; DHL Supply Chain; The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation; Discover; Duke Energy; Dutch Bros Foundation; Equitable; FirstEnergy Corporation; Harbor Freight Tools Foundation, LLC; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation; HP Foundation; Keurig Dr Pepper; Kimberly-Clark Corporation; The Labcorp Charitable Foundation; Lenovo Foundation; LHC Group; LKQ; Macy’s, Inc.; Major League Baseball; Marathon Petroleum Foundation, Inc.; Martin Marietta; Mattress Firm; McKesson Foundation; MetLife Foundation; The Middleby Corporation; Neiman Marcus Group; NextEra Energy, Inc.; Northrop Grumman; Northwestern Mutual; Old Dominion Freight Line; Organon; Pacific Life Foundation; Prudential; Raytheon Technologies; Reckitt; Rodan + Fields Prescription for Change Project, a project of New Venture Fund; Ross Stores Foundation; Ryder System, Inc.; Santander; Security Finance’s Lending Hand Foundation; ServiceNow; Southwest Airlines; Stanley Black & Decker; Tata Consultancy Services; U-Haul International; Zurich