Red Cross: As hurricane season begins, take steps to get prepared

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) – June 1st marks the first day of hurricane season and the Red Cross is urging you to get prepared.

“As hurricane season approaches, it is important for community members to prepare for the possibility of severe weather. Knowledge and preparation are some of the key elements to ensure your personal safety and to help protect your family and property,” said Barry Porter, regional CEO of the Red Cross in Eastern NC.

How to prepare:

Build an emergency kit in an easy-to-carry container that is conveniently located in the house. The kit should contain the following:

• A three-day supply of water-one gallon per person per day
• A three-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
• Flashlight
• Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
• Extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Medications (7-day supply) and medical items
• Multi-purpose tool
• Sanitation and personal hygiene items
• Copies of important documents such as a list of medications someone takes and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, and insurance policies
• A digital disaster kit on a password-protected area of an Internet server or a flash drive with copies of all important documents, contact information and even family photographs
• Cell phone with chargers
• Family and emergency contact information
• Extra cash
• Emergency blanket
• Map(s) of the area

Make a plan:

Every household should develop an emergency plan and know what they should do if something occurs. The plan should include ways to contact and find one another. Include two places to meet – one near the home and one outside the neighborhood in case circumstances prevent people from returning home. The plan should also identify an emergency contact person from outside the area in case local telephone lines are overloaded or out of service.

Plans should include decisions about where everyone will go if ordered to evacuate and what route they will take to get there. When discussing evacuation, include several different routes in case roads are closed. If pets are part of the household, they should be considered, including where they could be safe if the family has to evacuate such as pet-friendly motels and animal shelters along the evacuation route. Next, people should practice evacuating their home twice a year by driving the planned evacuation route and plotting alternate routes in case roads are impassable.

Be Informed:

Stay informed about how officials will communicate during emergencies. It is also important to take a first aid and CPR/AED course-a vital component of disaster preparedness in case emergency help is delayed.

Members of every household should know the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning to be able to plan how and when to respond.

• A hurricane watch is when conditions are a threat within 48 hours. It’s then time to review your hurricane plans. Get ready to act if a warning is issued and stay informed.
• A hurricane warning is when conditions are expected within 36 hours. It’s then time to complete your storm preparedness and leave the area if directed to do so by authorities.
• Tropical storm watches and warnings: Take these alerts seriously. Although tropical storms have lower wind speeds than hurricanes, they often bring life-threatening flooding and dangerous winds.

Download the Emergency App: The Red Cross Emergency App contains information on how to prepare households and what to do during and after a storm. Users can receive weather alerts for their area as well as areas where their loved ones live.

The Red Cross Emergency App contains information on how to prepare households and what to do during and after a storm. Users can receive weather alerts for their area as well as areas where their loved ones live.

The free Emergency App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.

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