TAMPA, FLORIDA – MAY 16, 2018 – The 2018 Hurricane Season begins June 1 and forecasters have predicted another active year. Just eight months ago, Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys as a Category 4 storm, the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since 2005. The Red Cross encourages Floridians to get ready now, before a storm threatens.
“As vulnerable as we are in Florida to weather-related disasters, we are a resilient community when we work together to be ready,” said Jennifer Pipa, CEO of the American Red Cross of Central Florida. “Personal preparedness is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane.”
SAFETY STEPS TO TAKE NOW
- 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. Many of these items are available through the Red Cross Store at redcrossstore.org.
- Create an evacuation plan for your household. Practicing the plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
- Be informed. Learn about the community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for pets. Take a First Aid and CPR/AED course (redcross.org/takeaclass) so you know what to do in case emergency help is delayed.
- Download the free Red Cross Emergency App to select up to 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts on their mobile device. The content includes expert guidance on what to do before, during and after different emergencies or disasters from home fires to hurricanes. The app can be found in smartphone app stores by searching for American Red Cross, texting ‘GETEMERGENCY’ to 90999, or by going to redcross.org/apps.
For families who have disaster supplies left-over from last year, now is the time to check the food and water to make sure it is still okay to consume, test batteries, and update copies of important documents. This is also a good time to talk with family members about your household emergency plan.
HELP FOR BUSINESSES, SCHOOLS, ORGANIZATIONS
The Red Cross Ready Rating™ program helps businesses, schools and other organizations prepare for emergencies that can disrupt daily operations. Ready Rating™ offers specific steps that organizations can take to be better prepared. It includes a planning tool to help their employees or members know what their roles are in the early hours of an emergency, what their next steps are, and a resource center with tools that help businesses, employees and students develop and practice preparedness plans. More information about this valuable program can be found at readyrating.org.
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.