Staff Report

For The Record

The American Red Cross is preparing volunteers, supplies and shelters as a potential tropical storm heads toward the Gulf Coast threatening several states with flooding, strong winds and heavy rain. The storm effects could begin as early as today. People in the path of this storm should pay attention to local weather advisories and finalize their emergency plans now.

The Red Cross is working closely with state and local officials and getting disaster workers and relief supplies ready to respond if necessary. The system could bring flooding to Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida due to heavy rain and coastal flooding. Flooding is also possible as far inland as Tennessee and Georgia. In Louisiana, experts predict 4 to 8 inches of rainfall with some areas seeing as much as 10 inches. A storm surge of as high as 3 feet is also possible.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Please click, text or call to donate to the Red Cross to help people affected by disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Every single donation brings hope to those in need. You can help people affected by disasters like flooding, hurricanes and countless other crises by making a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.

IN THE PATH OF THE STORM

People living in the path of this storm should keep informed about weather conditions and listen to the advice of local officials. Now is the time to build an emergency kit, create an evacuation plan and get informed about how your community will respond. Download the free Red Cross Emergency App to access the latest weather alerts on your mobile device and find emergency shelters. Search for American Red Cross in your smartphone app store or by going to redcross.org/apps.

Your emergency kit should include a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for an infant if applicable, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information.

If someone already has a disaster kit, now is the time make sure the food and water is still okay to consume and that copies of important documents are up to date. If they already have an emergency plan for their household, they should talk about it again with family members so everyone knows what to do if an emergency occurs.

Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for pets.

FLOODING SAFETY If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, be prepared to evacuate quickly if necessary. Follow evacuation orders and do not attempt to return until officials say it is safe to do so.

Head for higher ground and stay there.

Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way.

Turn around, don’t drown. If driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

Keep children out of the water.

Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to see flood danger.

Visit redcross.org or contact your local Red Cross chapter for the latest information on emergency shelters.

If you plan to come to a Red Cross shelter, bring the following items for each member of your family: prescription and emergency medication, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, important documents and other comfort items. Additionally, bring special items for children and infants, such as diapers, formulas and toys, along with other items for family members who may have other needs.