WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (August 21, 2020) — Now more than ever is the best time for families to take steps to prepare their homes and emergency kits. A potential tropical storm is making its way across the Caribbean, and the American Red Cross is closely monitoring the storm.
As they prepare their Red Cross teams to respond to the potential impacts of the storm, they are encouraging the community to take steps now to prepare as COVID-19 may change many of our prior emergency preparedness plans:
- Know the difference between a watch and warning. A WATCH means a hurricane, tropical storm or flooding is possible. A WARNING means conditions are expected within 36 hours. Take immediate precautions.
- Get your home ready. Cover windows with storm shutters or plywood. Store outside items, such as lawn furniture and trash cans, to prevent them from being moved by high winds and possibly hurting someone.
- Tune into your local radio, NOAA radio or news channels for the latest updates. Obey evacuation orders from local officials.
- Check your emergency kit and replace any missing items.
- Prepare to evacuate quickly and know your routes and destinations.
- Fill your car's gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.
- Never ride out a severe storm in a mobile home, even if it’s in a non-evacuation zone.
- Don’t forget your pets. Bring them indoors and maintain direct control of them. Prepare a pet emergency kit with leashes or carriers, food, water, bowls, cat litter and box, and photos of you with your pet in case you are separated.
- Stay indoors; avoid beaches, riverbanks and floodwaters. Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding. Don't walk, swim or drive through floodwaters. Remember: Turn around, don’t drown.
- Use flashlights in the dark if the power goes out. Avoid using candles.
Download the free Red Cross Emergency App for real-time weather alerts, open shelters and expert advice on emergency situations. The Emergency App includes an “I’m Safe” feature that helps people check on loved ones. Search “American Red Cross” in app stores, or go to redcross.org/apps.
The Red Cross has guidance available in multiple languages on getting prepared while still protecting yourself from COVID-19 here.
Be Red Cross Ready when the time comes with these preparedness tips available in English, Spanish and Creole.
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/southflorida and visit us on Facebook and Twitter at @SFLRedCross.
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