by Kevin Hagler
It’s not over yet. The Hurricane season is still well underway. In fact, the statistically most significant time for Hurricanes is NOW — well, specifically September 10th — and the Red Cross urges those who are not yet prepared to gear up and be Red Cross Ready.
This 2011 hurricane season is particularly notable because of the frequency of named storms. Note that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) predicts a total of 12-18 named storms with winds reaching a possible 49+ MPH (We’ve had 15 named storms so far in the Atlantic).
While the closest named storms — currently Nate and Katia — appear to be veering off course with respect to any significant damage on the mainland, we’re still keeping a close eye on Maria. (Scroll down below for more information on being prepared).
The Red Cross continues to help those affected by this severe weather season
The costs of this multi-disaster response are growing by the hour. We estimate that Red Cross relief services will cost millions of dollars, and we haven’t raised anywhere near that amount. But the public has always come through for us when Americans need help – and we really need your help now.
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.
See below for a live-updating graphic of current storm activity in the Atlantic:
This is a live-updating graphic from the National Hurricane Center
In case 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, a non-electric can opener, bottled water (at least three gallons 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.
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.
Unsurprisingly, The Atlanta Red Cross stresses preparedness in this extraordinary severe weather season.
Make sure to follow these links for more information:
- American Red Cross hurricane preparedness tips.
- Tornadoes and thunderstorms aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. The Red Cross offers tips on how to stay prepared.
- NOAA main site.
- NOAA hurricane outlook.
- National Weather Service/NOAA National Hurricane Center (stay updated on current cyclone activities)
And, remember to bookmark this blog for more updates and information on preparedness and what exactly the Red Cross is doing in your area and across the nation and globe.