Thursday, August 12, 2004
Director of Communications
(401) 831-7700 x101
RI RED CROSS ENCOURAGES
PREPAREDNESS STEPS FOR HURRICANE SEASON
Red Cross coastal shelter teams now on standby
As Tropical Storm Bonnie and Hurricane Charley draw nearer to the coast of Florida, the American Red
Cross of Rhode Island urges families in the Ocean State to take steps now to prepare for the active part of Hurricane season.
"Every year, coastal communities suffer the tragic loss of life and property because
of hurricanes, which can devastate a region with destructive winds, heavy rains and flooding, storm surges and tornadoes," said Nick Logothets, Director of
Emergency Services. "Taking a few moments to discuss some simple, common-sense preparedness steps with your family can save your life and the lives of the ones you love."
"With hurricanes, in a way, we are fortunate, because advance warning systems
give us time to evacuate threatened areas when a storm is imminent," Logothets said. "However, instead of waiting until a storm is threatening our community, the
time to prepare is now." The RI Red Cross suggests following the steps from their "Together We Prepare" program by making a plan and building a kit.
- Prepare a Personal Evacuation Plan
Identify ahead of time where you could go if you are told to evacuate.
Choose several places--a friend's home in another town, a motel or a shelter. Get a good map and be familiar with your community's evacuation routes.
Listen to local media broadcasts or NOAA Weather Radio for the latest storm conditions. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. If you have to
evacuate to a Red Cross shelter, be sure to bring medications, extra clothing, pillows and blankets and other hygiene and comfort supplies for all members of your family. Be sure to also make advance
preparations for your pets, which aren't allowed in Red Cross shelters.
- Assemble a Family Disaster Supplies Kit
Have emergency supplies set aside for all members of your household, including emergency medications, non-perishable food and a non-electric can
opener, bottled water (at least three gallons per day per person), a battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries, extra clothes, important
documents, cash and credit cards, a first aid kit and other special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members and pets. (The RI Red Cross has a
sample kit available to display and in September, will have kits available for purchase.)
- Prepare for High Winds
Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased and damaged limbs,
then strategically removing branches so that wind can blow through. Install permanent shutters on your windows and add protection to the outside areas
of sliding glass doors. Strengthen garage doors and unreinforced masonry. Move or secure lawn furniture, outdoor decorations or ornaments, trash cans,
hanging plants and anything else that can be picked up by wind and become a projectile.
For more information on hurricane preparedness, and how you can make your family
and home safer, contact the RI Red Cross at 401.831.7700 or go online to www.riredcross.org.