Hurricane safety tips from the Red Cross

(NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – Sept. 7, 2017) – The Palmetto region of the American Red Cross has shifted into high gear, planning our response to Hurricane Irma as the storm nears Florida before making its way toward South Carolina.  Irma is the most powerful Atlantic Ocean storm on record and South Carolinians should get prepared now, as parts of the state now lie in the storm’s possible path.

 

In South Carolina, the Red Cross is establishing a statewide relief operation. Hundreds of staff and volunteers are working closely with government officials and community partners to coordinate potential response efforts. We are quickly identifying people and material resources so additional resources may be requested as needed. In addition, supplies are being staged so they may be immediately dispatched to wherever they may be needed should shelters be opened.

 

“Our disaster workers have been busy over the last six days, planning every detail of our response,” said Louise Welch Williams, Regional CEO. “We are getting resources into place now, so people have dry, safe place to stay should they need it.”

 

This powerful hurricane reminds us of the importance of volunteers. To volunteer, please call 843-410-8467. You can also go to redcross.org/volunteer and select the Hurricane Irma application.

 

Hurricane Safety Steps

Find a shelter by visiting redcross.org or by downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App. The Emergency App also puts real time information about the storm and hurricane safety tips at your

fingertips. The app is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps. You can also follow these safety steps:

  • Continue listening to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
  • If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, be prepared to evacuate quickly if necessary.
  • Follow evacuation orders and do not attempt to return until officials say it is safe to do so.
  • Head for higher ground and stay there.
  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way.
  • Turn around, don’t drown. If driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to see flood danger.
  • Make sure you have a plan and supplies for your pets. Download the free Red Cross Pet First Aid App for emergency preparedness tips, a pet-friendly hotel locator and an animal hospital locator.

During the storm:

  • Stay indoors.
  • Don’t walk on beaches, riverbanks or in flood waters.
  • Use flashlights in the dark if the power goes out. Do NOT use candles.
  • Turn off the power and water mains if instructed to do so by local authorities.
  • Don’t forget your pets. Bring them indoors and maintain direct control of them. Prepare an emergency kit for your pets, including sturdy leashes or pet carriers, food and water, bowls, cat litter and pan, and photos of you with your pet in case they get lost.

Find more information on preparedness on redcross.org.

 

TO MAKE A FINANCIAL DONATION:

The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by Hurricane Irma by visiting redcross.org, calling 800-RED-CROSS texting the word IRMA to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

 

TO DONATE BLOOD:
Visit redcrossblood.org for a location or blood drive near you.

 

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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.