August 27, 2012 |

Red Cross Ready to Help as Tropical Storm Isaac Heads Toward Florida

The Red Cross is preparing to open dozens of shelters across Florida, and moving hundreds of trained disaster workers into the state. There are 22 Red Cross emergency response vehicles already in Florida and 28 more are moving into the state in advance of the storm with an additional 78 on stand-by if needed. The Red Cross is mobilizing five truckloads of disaster supplies to send to Florida and Red Cross disaster warehouses in Georgia and Mississippi are ready to ship emergency supplies if necessary.

“As Isaac travels northward, we’re getting ready to help people in Florida,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president for Red Cross Disaster Services. “We urge folks who may be in the path of this storm to get prepared too – to check their emergency supplies, finalize their hurricane plans, and listen closely to local officials for updates on the storm.”

RED CROSS HURRICANE APP

the American Red Cross encourages people to download the new Hurricane App to get instant access to hurricane safety steps and weather alerts for areas in the path of the storm. The free app, launched earlier this month, can be used on both iPhone and Android platforms.

Once people download the Hurricane App, they have instant access to critical action steps instructing what to do before, during and after hurricanes even without mobile connectivity. Users can monitor personalized weather alerts in locations where family and friends reside and share information with others in their social networks who might also need it.

Features of the app include:

Location-based NOAA weather alerts for the United States and its territories that users can share on social networks;

· Remote monitoring of personalized weather alerts where family and friends reside

· Locations of open Red Cross shelters

· Simple steps and checklists people can use to create a family emergency plan

· One touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to reassure family and friends via social media outlets that they are out of harm’s way

· Preloaded content with critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity

· Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm

The Hurricane App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

GET READY Before the storm, people should prepare by taking the following steps:

· Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If someone does not have hurricane shutters, they should close and board up their windows and doors with plywood.

· Fill their vehicle’s gas tank.

· Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind, like outdoor furniture.

· Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep closed as much as possible so food will last longer if the power goes out.

More information on what to do before, during and after a storm is available on the Red Cross web site.

MEANWHILE IN HAITI, Red Cross workers from all over the world are closely coordinating preparedness efforts and plans to respond as Isaac approaches Hispaniola. Logistical support and cholera contingency plans have been activated for the north and northeast regions of Haiti, including positioning of relief and cholera prevention supplies. The Red Cross is supporting and equipping 55 community readiness committees in camps in Port au Prince with additional first aid supplies, having worked with these committees on an ongoing basis to identify evacuation routes and alternate safe spaces. The Haitian government is in charge of evacuation shelters in Haiti. The Red Cross works with the community to help them get ready for disasters and will respond to any needs Isaac creates.

HOW TO HELP If anyone would like to help, they can make a donation by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to their local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 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 join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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