American Red Cross Safety Tips during Hurricane Season
The official hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, and the American Red Cross urges preparedness and the use of safety tips to stay ahead of the storm.
Although the 2016 hurricane season has been relatively quiet, August and September can typically be the height of hurricane season because the temperature of the Atlantic Ocean continues to rise. Hurricanes cause problems for people in coastal areas, but the storms can also cause damage hundreds of miles inland. In 2011, tropical storms caused devastating flooding in Pennsylvania and New Jersey hundreds of miles from the coast.
“The best defense against any threat of a hurricane is for folks to get ready now,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president, Disaster Services Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. “Any one of these storms could make landfall and become a serious danger to people living along the coast, as well as hundreds of miles inland.”
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO Hurricanes can bring heavy rainfall, high winds, tornadoes, rip currents, storm surges and inland flooding. The Red Cross has three steps people can follow - build a kit, make a plan and be informed.
An emergency kit should a gallon of water per person, non-perishable food, a flashlight and extra batteries, a first aid kit, medications and copies of important documents. Talk with members of your household and create an evacuation plan. Learn about how your community responds to hurricanes and plan routes to local shelters. Remember family members with special medical needs and plan how you will care for your pets.
KNOW WHAT WARNINGS MEAN A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are a threat within the next 48 hours. Review emergency plans, stay informed about the situation and be ready to act if a warning is issued. A hurricane warning means hurricane conditions are expected within the next 36 hours; complete storm preparations and leave the area if ordered to do so by authorities.
The Red Cross Hurricane Safety Checklist is available to learn more about what to do if a hurricane might affect your community. For more information on hurricane safety, visit the preparedness section of our web site.
People should also download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of hurricanes, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.