GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Red Cross volunteers are urging people throughout the East to plan for the worst from Hurricane Matthew.
The Red Cross recommends people have enough supplies to last 72 hours. This should include items like water, non-perishable food, one to two weeks’ worth of medication, important documents, a first aid kit, chargers, and a change of clothes. Power outages are a concern, so it’s good to have a flashlight and extra batteries. If the power does goes out, ATMs won’t be accessible, so make sure to have some cash.
Stores may be low on stock or closed, so don’t wait until the last minute to get supplies.
It’s not just family members people need to plan for in advance.
“State and federal laws don’t allow us to have pets in a human shelter unless they’re service animals. So you think ahead of time about your pets. Don’t leave your pets loose. Don’t leave your pets at home. If it’s not safe for you, it’s not safe for your pets,” said Disaster Services Volunteer Michael Brown.
Volunteers recommend putting all supplies in a big tub or a backpack so if they do have to evacuate, they can take everything they need with them quickly.
Volunteers say the Red Cross will be ready to help, but don’t rely solely on them.
“We’re all responsible for our own well-being. And there are government agencies and there are volunteer agencies like the Red Cross that are there but in a major disaster, it may take a day or two or three to be able to get to you. So you need to have enough to be able to stay comfortable during that period of time,” Brown said.
At home, make sure to secure any loose objects outside like trash cans, and put the fridge and freezer on cold settings in case the power goes out.