American Red Cross Urges You to Take Lifesaving Steps Now to Prepare For This Year's Hurricane Season
Source: American Red Cross
Wednesday June 1, 9:44 am ET
WASHINGTON, June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Hurricane season 2004 was unprecedented, with four major hurricanes wreaking havoc within a six-week period. A new hurricane season begins June 1, and hurricane forecasters are predicting another above-normal hurricane season, with the possibility of at least 12 to 15 tropical storms, and seven to nine of them becoming hurricanes. In anticipation of this year's hurricane season, the American Red Cross encourages each of us to begin preparing now.
Every year, coastal communities suffer loss of life and property because of hurricanes, which can devastate a region with destructive winds, heavy rains and flooding, storm surges and tornadoes. "It is vital that we start working now to keep our families safe this hurricane season," said Joe Becker, Senior Vice President, Preparedness and Response for the American Red Cross. "Taking the time now to prepare you and your loved ones for the steps they can take in advance of a hurricane, and during a hurricane, can save your life and the lives of those you love."
Advanced warning systems today are better than ever before. They offer our communities time to evacuate potentially affected areas when a storm is imminent. "It's important to remember that just because you were safe last year, it doesn't mean you shouldn't evacuate when told to this year. The time to prepare is now. Create your personal disaster and evacuation plan and make sure you build a disaster supplies kit. Knowing what to do in an emergency situation is your best protection."
Prepare a Personal Disaster and Evacuation Plan
The American Red Cross, the National Weather Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency urge each and every family to develop a family disaster plan.
Gather enough emergency supplies to meet your needs for at least three days. Store these supplies in sturdy, easy to carry, water resistant containers. It's also a good idea to keep a smaller kit in the trunk of your car. Your disaster supplies kit should include:
Pick a day in June to conduct a home hazard hunt and perimeter search, in which you inspect your home for items that can move, fall, break or cause a fire.
Practice and maintain your plan. Ask questions to make sure your family remembers meeting places, phone numbers and safety rules. Conduct drills. Something else to keep in mind is the value of neighbors during a difficult time. Working with neighbors can save lives. Know your neighbors' special skills and consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as disabled and elderly persons. Make plans for child care in case parents cannot get home -- that way, all of the children in your neighborhood can be safe.
For more information regarding how individuals and families can prepare for disasters visit http://www.redcross.org or contact your local Red Cross chapter.
The American Red Cross is where people mobilize to help their neighbors- across the street, across the country and across the world-in emergencies. Each year, in communities large and small, victims of some 70,000 disasters turn to neighbors familiar and new-the nearly 1 million volunteers and 35,000 employees of the Red Cross. Through almost 900 locally supported chapters, more than 15 million people gain the skills they need to prepare for and respond to emergencies in their homes, communities and world. Some 4 million people give blood-the gift of life-through the Red Cross, making it the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The Red Cross helps thousands of U.S. service members separated from their families by military duty stay connected. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, a global network of 181 national societies, the Red Cross helps restore hope and dignity to the world's most vulnerable people. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work. Marsha J. Evans is the President and CEO of the American Red Cross.