Media Contact: Sherry Nicolson
ATLANTA, June 5, 2020 — The third named storm of the current hurricane season – Cristobal – is expected to move toward the U.S. Gulf Coast over the weekend and could bring heavy rain, wind, and rip currents from Texas to Florida, including in southwest Georgia. The American Red Cross is getting ready to respond if necessary and has tips to help you prepare for this storm and others expected this season during the coronavirus pandemic. Full details are available here.
FLOODING – WHAT TO DO:
If you are in the path of heavy rain, be prepared to evacuate. Leave the area if local officials tell you to do so. Don’t return home until officials say it is safe. Stay informed - tune into your local radio, NOAA radio or news channels for the latest updates. Flooding may occur, and people can follow these safety steps:
Right Before a Flood
- Listen to local area radio, NOAA radio, or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
- Be prepared to evacuate quickly if directed and know your routes and destinations. If someone needs to find a shelter they can visit redcross.org/shelter.
During a Flood
- Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground. Evacuate if directed. Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters.
- Avoid contact with floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage.
- Avoid already flooded areas and areas that are subject to sudden flooding such as dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc. Stay away from rivers, streams, creeks, and storm drains.
- Do not attempt to cross flowing streams or water-covered roads.
- If caught in a flash flood, try to get to higher ground and stay there. Just six inches of fast-flowing water can knock you over and two feet will float a car.
- Turn around and find another route if you come upon floodwater, rapidly rising water, or barricades.
- Don’t allow children to play in or near floodwater. It may be contaminated with sewage.
Your Plans May Need Adjusting Due to Covid-19
Visit redcross.org/hurricane for more information about what to do before, during, and after a hurricane.
As we all deal with challenging demands of the coronavirus, hurricane season is here and it’s important to be prepared. Because of COVID-19, getting prepared will look a little different than in other years. With that in mind, the American Red Cross of Georgia has tips to help you:
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).
- Plan now if you will need help leaving or if you need to share transportation.
- Ask friends or relatives outside your area if you are able to stay with them. Check and see if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or have people in their homes at higher risk for serious illness. If they have symptoms or people at higher risk in their home, make other arrangements. Check with hotels, motels, and campgrounds to see if they are open. Find out if your local emergency management agency has adapted its sheltering plans.
- Check with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and update emergency plans due to Coronavirus.
- Plan 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. And, when you pack your disaster kit, assemble one for your pet too. Details about what to include are available here.
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.
- Use the Red Cross interactive map to identify likely disasters in your area.
- Learn about your community’s response plan for each disaster and determine if these plans have been adapted because of COVID-19.
- Find contact information for state, local and tribal governments and agencies, and for state emergency management agencies.
- Because of COVID-19, stay current on advice and restrictions from your state and local public health authorities as it may affect your actions and available resources and facilities.
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.
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.