CrossRhodes Are you ready for a hurricane?


John Ghiorse, WJAR NBC10 meteorologist, Bruce Morris, WJAR NBC10 Home Pro, and Elizabeth McDonald, of the Rhode Island Red Cross take a break from filming “Project Impact: Preparing Your Home for Disaster.”

Experts are predicting a destructive hurricane season and as tropical storm “Allison,” proved, it doesn’t take a full-fledged hurricane to wipe out an entire community. Yet, as Texas and Louisiana clean up from four feet of flood waters, Rhode Islanders are not worrying about hurricanes.

A new American Red Cross poll shows Northeast residents are ill-prepared for a hurricane. Among the findings:

  • Less than a quarter of the population (23%) have assembled a disaster supplies kit
  • ¨Only a third (33%) have an evacuation plan
  • ¨Just half of the respondents have made alternate living arrangements with evacuation in mind.

With hundreds of miles of coastline and plenty of coastal development over the last few years, Rhode Island is at major risk if a storm works its way up the coast. Because we haven’t experienced major damage since Hurricane Bob in 1991, most Rhode Islanders have been lulled into a false sense of security.
Elizabeth McDonald, a Rhode Island Red Cross disaster specialist, recently worked with WJAR NBC10 meteorologist John Ghiorse and home pro Bruce Morris on a special week-long series called “Project Impact: Preparing Your Home for Disaster. “

Here are some tips from the “Project Impact” series:

  • Purchase plywood to cover your home’s windows.
  • Allocate an indoor storage location for all patio or deck furniture. Bring all flower pots indoors (they can become airborne in high winds). If you cannot store furniture indoors, secure it with rope to a sturdy tree.
  • Protect your valuables. Keep important items in water and fire-proof containers.
  • Develop an evacuation plan. Include two ways of exiting your neighborhood and discuss the plan with family members.
  • Create a disaster supply kit. The large, waterproof container should contain: a list of emergency numbers and medications for each family member, bottled water, flashlight (with fresh batteries), canned food, a manual can opener, blanket, cards and games (especially for children), and a first aid kit.
    If you would like more information about preparing your home and family for a hurricane, please visit our website at or call Kara, at the Red Cross of Rhode Island, 401.831.7700 ext. 117.

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