Red Cross gears up for Hurricane Irene

The tropical storm is now a hurricane and Red Cross chapters along the East Coast are gearing up for Irene’s potential path and destruction. In Georgia, Jack Looney, emergency services head of South Georgia’s Red Cross, is preparing by organizing with local emergency management agencies and Red Cross volunteers in eleven counties while scouting potential shelter locations.

Residents who live around the coast especially need to take Hurricane Irene seriously! Preparation for catastrophic events is key. Families and individuals need to finalize their hurricane plans, make a disaster supplies kit, and stay informed of Irene’s path (Check out the National Weather Service’s Hurricane Center website to stay informed of the storm). Kits should contain a three-day supply of water for each person, along with food that doesn’t require refrigeration, flashlights, a battery-operated radio and a first aid kit. (See Below for a full list)

  •  Get a three-day supply of water ready for each person on hand, along with food that doesn’t require refrigeration, flashlights, a battery-operated radio and a first aid kid;
  • Plan routes to emergency shelters and register family members with special needs as required;
  • Make plans for pets;
  • Bring items inside that can be picked up by the wind;
  • Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest settings and keep them closed as much as possible so food will last longer if the power goes out;
  • Turn off any propane tanks and unplug small appliances;
  • Fill their vehicle’s gas tank;
  • Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If hurricane shutters aren’t an option, close and board up windows and doors with plywood.

(Remember, The North Atlantic Hurricane Season runs July to November and experts predict that it will be a busy one. So if Irene doesn’t hit you, then others might so prepare NOW.)

The American Red Cross is urging immediate blood donations prior to the Hurricane Irene’s arrival.

It’s the blood that is already on the shelves that helps save lives before, during and after a disaster. The Red Cross is still working to stabilize the blood supply after our summer shortages. If people will donate blood now, before the storm, then blood will be available in the aftermath should conditions prohibit people from traveling or coming to blood drives.

Across the country, blood centers are struggling to keep pace with demand. Nationwide, around 44,000 blood donations are needed each and every day to meet the needs of accident victims, cancer patients, and children with blood disorders. These patients and others rely on blood products during their treatment. When disaster strikes, this need does not diminish, even though blood donors may find it difficult or impossible to get to a convenient donation opportunity. Also, if collections are negatively impacted by a disaster, the long-term care needs of these patients could be affected.

To schedule an appointment, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or go to where you can find a list of blood donation sites in your area.

Follow the Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region @RedCrossBloodGA

Nationwide, the American Red Cross begins disaster preparations long before a hurricane makes landfall, and keeps supplies and equipment on stand-by all year to help people in need. On average, the Red Cross spends about $450 million on disaster relief every year. If someone would like to support Red Cross disaster efforts, they can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS, texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation, or sending contributions to their local Red Cross chapter by clicking on the DONATE tab at the top of the page or this link.


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