Plans may have to be adjusted due to COVID-19
As we all deal with challenging demands of the coronavirus, the June 1 start of hurricane season is coming and it’s important to get prepared. Because of COVID-19, getting prepared will look a little different than in other years. With that thinking in mind, the American Red Cross, Connecticut has tips to help you and virtual preparedness workshops for adults and kids.
“Disasters won’t stop, even during a pandemic,” said Mario Bruno, CEO, American Red Cross, Connecticut and Rhode Island Region. “Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 and early reports predict a busy year with as many as four storms reaching major hurricane strength. Make your preparations now, thinking about the coronavirus situation as you do.”
MAKE A PLAN In light of the coronavirus, you may have to adjust any previous plans you made.
- If authorities advise you to evacuate, be prepared to leave immediately with your evacuation kit (see below).
- Check with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and update emergency plans due to Coronavirus.
- Plan ahead for your pets. Keep a phone list of pet-friendly hotels/motels and animal shelters that are along your evacuation routes. Remember, if it’s not safe for you to stay home, it’s not safe for your pets either.
BUILD A KIT Assemble two kits of emergency supplies and a one-month supply of prescription medication. Some supplies may be hard to get, and availability will worsen in a disaster, so start gathering supplies now. Start with this basic supply list:
- Stay-at-home kit: Include everything you need to stay at home for at least two weeks with items such as food, water, household cleaning and disinfectant supplies, soap, paper products and personal hygiene items.
- Evacuation kit: Your second kit should be a lightweight, smaller version that you can take with you if you must leave your home quickly. Include everything you need to be on your own for three days:
- Food and water
- Personal hygiene items
- Cleaning and disinfectant supplies that you can use on the go (tissues, hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol and disinfecting wipes)
- Cloth face coverings for everyone in your household who can wear one safely. Cloth face coverings are not a substitute for physical distancing. Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others in public. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unable to remove it without help.
- Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler's checks
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
- 1-month supply of prescription medication, as well as over-the-counter medications like cough suppressants and fever reducing drugs and medical supplies or equipment. Keep these items together in a separate container so you can take them with you if you have to evacuate.
BE INFORMED Have access to weather alerts and community notifications. Be sure that you can receive official notifications even during a power outage. Always follow the directions of your state and local authorities.
TAKE A FREE RED CROSS VIRTUAL PREPAREDNESS COURSE: Be Red Cross Ready and Virtual Pillowcase classes available in June!
- Be Red Cross Ready is a FREE virtual presentation to help you and your loved ones prepare for emergencies, specifically home fires and hurricanes. Participants will learn how to prepare for a home fire and hurricane, how to make an evacuation plan, emergency kit and much more. Be Red Cross Ready is offered each Thursday during the month of June at 2 p.m.
- The virtual Pillowcase Project is our signature youth disaster preparedness program designed for youth in grades 3–5 through a 40-minute interactive presentation. The program offers free education in personal and family preparedness for region-specific hazards. It’s a fun and interactive presentation where students can use their creativity while home; how to build a personal preparedness kit; and a digital workbook filled with a variety of preparedness and safety resources. Classes are available each Tuesday in June beginning at 4 p.m.
- For more information on Be Red Cross Ready and the virtual Pillowcase Project and to join a session, visit RedCross.org/CT.
Take a First Aid and CPR/Course online to learn what to do in case emergency help is delayed. Download the Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to weather alerts for your area and where loved ones live. Expert medical guidance and a hospital locator are included in the First Aid App in case travelers encounter any mishaps. These apps are available to download for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps.
Visit redcross.org/hurricane for full information about what to do before, during and after a hurricane.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.