Miami, Fla. (November 8, 2022) — Hundreds of people in Florida impacted by Hurricane Ian’s devastation remain in shelters as Tropical Storm Nicole threatens to bring heavy rain to South Florida this week. The American Red Cross South Florida Region is monitoring the situation closely, stands ready to respond if necessary, and urges families to be prepared.
Nicole could bring as much as six inches of rain and a storm surge as high as five feet above normal to the already saturated region. Heavy rain will then spread across the southeast later this week.
“The safety of our neighbors in South Florida is our priority,” said Josett Valdez, Regional CEO, American Red Cross South Florida Region. “Hurricane season is not over, and it is critical that we take this storm seriously.”
See the important hurricane safety information below:
Know the difference between a hurricane watch and warning.
- A hurricane watch means conditions are a threat within 48 hours. Prepare to act if a warning is issued and stay informed.
- A hurricane warning means conditions are expected within 36 hours. Stay indoors, ideally in a room without windows.
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 channel 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.
- As conditions deteriorate, bring them indoors and keep a close eye on them.
- Prepare an emergency kit for your pets with leashes, carriers, food, water, bowls, litter, litterbox and photos of you with your pet in case you are separated.
As the storm approaches, 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.
- If the power is out, use a flashlight. Don’t use candles or any open flame for lighting.
Evacuation Center vs Shelter
In addition to being Red Cross Ready, it's imperative to keep in mind that there is an essential distinction between pre-storm evacuation shelters and post-storm shelters
Pre-storm evacuation shelters provide a safe place to stay for those who have been ordered to evacuate their homes prior to a storm. They typically are only meant to house people for 12-72 hours until the storm moves through. Because these shelters must open quickly, it may not be possible to provide a cot and blanket for each person, and it may not be practical to move in supplies for such a short term.
Post-storm shelters are available for people who have been evacuated and are unable to reach their homes or whose homes are unlivable. Post-storm shelters will open within 72 hours after landfall and provide sleeping support items such as cots, blankets and pillows, meals, shower facilities, medical services, and other support services.
What to bring:
- Water: one gallon per person, per day (3-day supply for evacuation)
- Food: non-perishable, 3-day supply for evacuation, including any special dietary needs
- Bedding/sleeping items
- Prescription and emergency medications for all family members
- Medical supplies (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Sanitation and personal hygiene products
- Personal care and other comfort items
- Photo ID, cash
- Extra clothing
- Special items for infants, like diapers, food, medication
- Household pets: leash, crate, food, and medicine*
- Power cords for portable electronics
Additional Red Cross Resources
Download the free Red Cross Emergency App for real-time weather alerts, open shelters, and expert advice on emergency situations. Search “American Red Cross” in app stores or go to redcross.org/apps.
You can also enable the Red Cross Hurricane Alert skill on Amazon Alexa-enabled devices to receive warnings about an approaching hurricane and preparedness information.
For more preparedness resources, visit redcross.org/prepare.
Red Cross also encourages local residents to learn about ways to volunteer in the event of needs post storm. Visit redcross.org/SFLvolunteer to see opportunities and register.
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 or visit us on Facebook or Twitter at @SFLRedCross.