Monday, September 28, 2015

Tornado Impacts Johns Island

Following a tornado early Friday morning, American Red Cross disaster relief team was immediately on the scene assisting families on Johns Island.

Red Cross Volunteer John Perry, pictured to the left, described the scene as a “battle zone” and said, “We are proud of the generosity that we’ve seen— we’ve had such a good turn out from our community.”

Red Cross volunteers provided meals and emergency assistance to families at a Reception Center at St. Johns Fire District Headquarters, as well as providing snacks and water to disaster responders.


So far, 39 homes have been affected, 4 of which were destroyed.  Red Cross workers have assisted 23 people and are standing by to assist more families as needed.

Help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit or call 843-764-2323. Contributions may also be sent to the Lowcountry SC Chapter of the Red Cross at 2424 City Hall Lane, North Charleston, SC, 29406.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Hurricane Hugo: 26 Years Later

Twenty-six years ago today Hurricane Hugo hit Charleston, South Carolina on September 21, 1989 with winds up to 135 miles per hour. These winds, together with a storm surge of water about 17 feet high, wrecked buildings and marinas along more than 100 miles of coastline.
Away from the coast, high winds and several tornadoes damaged buildings and downed trees and power lines. Due to the extreme intensity of Hurricane Hugo when it crossed the South Carolina coast – the storm roared through inland communities with unimaginable force.

Hugo marched through South Carolina killing scores of people, destroying property, leaving destruction and sorrow. Many who had fled the coast found themselves in frightening weather conditions while they waited in motels, shelters, and schools.

Almost two-hundred miles inland Hugo still had 100-mph wind gusts. The major metropolitan area of Charlotte, North Carolina suffered extensive damage. Thousands of large trees fell into homes and businesses around Charlotte and glass was shattered in downtown skyscrapers. Torrential rains in Virginia flooded roads and cut power to 2 million people. By late on September 22nd, Hugo finally died over the cool forest of southern Canada.

American Red Cross trained volunteers opened 438 shelters that housed over 93,000 people. One week after the storm over 56,000 people in South Carolina were left homeless. Red Cross served over 1,000,000 meals. Over 700 volunteers worked around the clock in South Carolina assisting hurricane victims with immediate needs such as food, clothing, shelter, bedding and other essential items of household furnishings as well as emergency medical supplies.

Ann Wright, CEO of the American Red Cross of Upstate South Carolina was dispatched 3 days in advance of predicted landfall to North Charleston with a team of disaster volunteers and staff leaders to serve as the Director of the Charleston Hurricane District. She was there for the duration of the storm and some of the first to see the damage at first light. “It was a harrowing night as the eye passed over us in sheer darkness. We could hear trees breaking, winds howling, and class shattering for what seemed like days! Amazingly, some phone communications actually remained intact until the very end of the storm” Ms. Wright said. “Many of our personnel and supplies were staging in Charlotte. Unfortunately, Hugo took a path inland and literally followed Interstate 85 and hit Charlotte with significant winds and rain. This delayed our support and supply arrival, so we had to get by with what little we had. It was very scary, yet a rewarding experience. People at their very best, and some at their very worst, in one of the darkest hours this country had ever seen up to that point. Not soon forgotten! My hope, said Ann Wright, is that no one will forget how important it is to respect these storms and their power. Being prepared and following evacuation orders are critical.”

The American Red Cross encourages every family to be Red Cross Ready in case of a hurricane or any disaster. It is important for you to be prepared for possible disasters and other emergencies. Natural or human-caused disasters can strike suddenly, at anytime and anywhere.

#ItOnlyTakesOne Storm to affect life as you know it.  Take the necessary precautions to be prepared for a hurricane.
There are three actions everyone can take that can help make a difference:
1. Get a kit
2. Make a Plan
3. Be informed


Join other members of your community through the American Red Cross in taking these
first steps. You never know how many people your actions will affect, how many lives you might change. Contact your local American Red Cross today for more information on how you can be Red Cross Ready, or if you would like to volunteer with the American Red Cross.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Response to Charleston Floods

People across Charleston awoke Monday morning to record setting rainfall. For most people it was an inconvenience during their commute, but for others the flood waters threatened to disrupt more than just their morning drive.

Three communities in the area were affected by the flood waters and many people were forced to evacuate their homes.  The Red Cross was there to meet the immediate needs of those affected by the Charleston flooding.

Offering Assistance to the Community
·         70+ Clients served
·         115+ Meals distributed
·         190+ Bottles of water and snacks
·         40+ Clean-up kits distributed
·         70+ Comfort kits distributed
·         35+ Volunteers

“I can’t imagine waking up and there being standing water in my home”, said Courtney Adams, Red Cross Volunteer.  “I’m thankful that the Red Cross has given me the opportunity to help those affected by the floods.”

Help people affected by disasters like these floods and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit or call 843-764-2323. Contributions may also be sent to the Lowcountry SC Chapter of the Red Cross at 2424 City Hall Lane, North Charleston, SC, 29406.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Flood Recovery Tips

Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Conditions that cause floods include heavy or steady rain for several hours or days that saturates the ground. Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area.

The American Red Cross has tips to help the clean-up and recovery when the water recedes:
·         Return home only when officials have declared the area safe
·         Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.
·         Parts of your home may be collapsed or damaged. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs and overhangs have all their supports.
·         Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into your home with the floodwater.
·         If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
·         If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
·         Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.
·         Materials such as cleaning products, paint, batteries, contaminated fuel and damaged fuel containers are hazardous. Check with local authorities for assistance with disposal to avoid risk.
·         During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
·         Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!
·         Contact your local or state public health department to see if your water supply might be contaminated. You may need to boil or treat it before use. Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.

Let Your Family Know You're Safe
If your community has experienced a disaster, register on the American Red Cross Safe and Well web site to let your family and friends know about your welfare. You may also call 1-866-GET-INFO to register yourself and your family.