The Atlantic Hurricane Season starts June 1 and will be another very active one, according to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The American Red Cross of the National Capital Greater Chesapeake Region urges everyone in the DMV to make their preparations early.
And while hurricane season generally coincides with warmer weather, so too does activities like swimming and grilling. But these activities also come with risk. Whatever your summer plans include, the American Red Cross of the National Capital Greater Chesapeake Region has some resources to help you have a safe summer.
“As the official start of hurricane season approaches, it is important we get ready now,” said Dale Kunce, CEO for the Red Cross of the National Capital Greater Chesapeake Region. “And we know summer is a great time of year to get outside and have fun with friends and loved ones, but emergencies can happen anytime - so keeping summer safety tips in mind is key for everyone.”
HURRICANE SEASON BEGINS JUNE 1, 2022
GETTING READY IS EASY There are simple steps you can take to be prepared:
- 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 plan. 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. Because of the pandemic, include a mask for everyone in your household.
- 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 Red Cross Emergency app to help keep you and your loved ones safe with real-time alerts, open Red Cross shelter locations and safety advice on hurricanes and other emergencies.
- Standard homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flooding. It’s important to have protection from 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.
Every day, an average of 11 people die in the U.S. from unintentional drowning — and one in five of those are children 14 or younger according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Red Cross wants everyone to know critical safety knowledge and skills that could save your life in and around the water. We encourage families to build confidence in the water by learning to be safe, making good choices, learning to swim and how to handle emergencies.
- Preventing unsupervised access to water, providing constant, active adult supervision and knowing how to swim are critical layers of protection to help prevent drowning.
- Classes to learn how to swim are available for both children and adults. Check the map for Learn-to-Swim providers in your community. Everyone should learn first aid and CPR too, so they know what to do in an emergency.
- Download the Red Cross Swim app, sponsored by The ZAC Foundation, for safety tips, kid-friendly videos and activities, and take the free Water Safety for Parents and Caregivers online course in English or in Spanish.
- It’s best to swim in a lifeguarded area. Always designate a “water watcher” whose sole responsibility is to keep a close eye and constant attention on everyone in and around the water until the next water watcher takes over.
- Drowning behavior is typically fast and silent. Unless rescued, a drowning person will last only 20 to 60 seconds before submerging. Reach or throw, don't go! In the event of an emergency, reach or throw an object to the person in trouble. Don’t go in! You could become a victim yourself.
More than three-quarters of U.S. adults have used a grill — yet, grilling sparks more than 10,000 home fires on average each year. To avoid this, the Red Cross offers these grilling safety tips:
- Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. Don’t add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
- Never grill indoors — not in the house, camper, tent or any enclosed area.
- Make sure everyone, including pets, stays away from the grill.
- Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.
- Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to help keep the chef safe.
Summer’s heat can be dangerous for your family pets. Follow these steps to take to help ensure your pet stays safe this summer.
- Don’t leave your pet in a hot vehicle, even for a few minutes. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees even with the windows cracked open.
- Animals can suffer heat stroke, a common problem for pets in the warmer weather. Dogs with short noses or snouts, like the boxer or bulldog, are especially prone to heat stroke, along with overweight pets, those with extremely thick fur coat or any pet with upper respiratory problems such as laryngeal paralysis or collapsing trachea.
- Some of the signs of heat stroke in your pet are heavy panting and being unable to calm down, even when lying down, brick red gum color, fast pulse rate and being unable to get up.
- If you suspect your pet has heat stroke, take their temperature rectally. If the temperature is above 105 degrees, cool the animal down. The easiest way to do this is by using the water hose. Stop cooling the animal when the temperature reaches 103 degrees.
- Bring your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible as heat stroke can lead to severe organ dysfunction and damage. Download the Red Cross Pet First Aid app for instant access on how to treat heat stroke, other emergencies and general care for cats and dogs and take the Cat and Dog First Aid Online Training course.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.