Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Get Ready for Hurricane Season; Tips from the Red Cross

As hurricane season begins this week, all of us in South Carolina are well aware of the destruction that comes with a tropical cyclone.

The American Red Cross has some tips to help you brush up on your preparedness so you’re ready in case another one hits. Crossing our fingers you don’t need them!

First, download the Red Cross Emergency App. In addition to hurricanes, it covers what to do before, during and after more than 30 disasters and emergency situations. Should you need to evacuate, the app shows all the open shelter locations in real-time. All Red Cross apps can be found in smartphone app stores by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/apps.

Get Ready Now

The Red Cross recommends that households:
  • 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.
  • Talk with household members and create an evacuation plan. Practicing the plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event. 
  • Be informed. Learn about your community’s hurricane response plan and use the South Carolina Hurricane Guide to “Know Your Zone” for evacuations. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for pets.

If you have a disaster kit, make sure the food and water is still okay to consume and that copies of important documents are up to date. If you have an emergency plan for the household, talk about it again with family members so everyone knows what to do if an emergency occurs.

Top Hurricane Prep Tips

Here are 11 tips on what to do if a hurricane is headed your way:

  • ·         Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio (Available in the Red Cross Store) for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
  • ·         Check your disaster supplies. Replace or restock as needed.
  • ·         Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (e.g., bicycles, lawn furnit
  • ·         Close your windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
  • ·         Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting. Keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
  • ·         Turn off propane tank.
  • ·         Unplug small appliances.
  • ·         Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • ·         Create a hurricane evacuation plan with members of your household. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
  • ·         Find out about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs and make plans for your pets to be cared for.
  • ·         Obey evacuation orders. Avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
Being prepared may not prevent a disaster but it will give you confidence to meet the challenge. And your Red Cross will be at your side.

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