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           28 November, 2020

Category:  Press » Non-profit


Red Cross Making Preparations as Tropical Storm Ida Heads Toward Gulf Coast

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2009-11-10 05:00:59     
American Red Cross

The American Red Cross is preparing for Tropical Storm Ida to make landfall along the Gulf Coast, opening shelters in four states.

The Red Cross is opening shelters in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. Residents in those states should heed the warnings of local officials, especially if evacuation orders are issued.

Although recently downgraded from a hurricane, Tropical Storm Ida is packing 70 mph winds and heavy rain and is expected to make landfall along the northern Gulf Coast Tuesday morning and then turn toward the east. Tropical storm warnings are issued from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle and governors in Louisiana and Florida have declared states of emergency.

"Anyone in the path of the storm should make the necessary preparations right away and also register themselves on Safe and Well if they plan on evacuating," said Joe Becker, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. "Ida is predicted to drop up to six inches of rain along the Gulf Coast."

The Red Cross also is urging people who may be impacted by the storm to take the necessary steps to get ready.

The Red Cross Safe and Well web site is an online tool that those affected by disaster can use to register their status. If there is no internet access, people can ask a loved one to register for them, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to register. If family members know someone's telephone number or complete home address, they can search the site for messages posted by those who register.

The Red Cross encourages those who plan to stay in a Red Cross shelter to bring the following items for each member of their family: prescription and emergency medication, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, important documents and other comfort items. Additionally, special items for children and infants, such as diapers, formulas and toys, should be brought, along with other special items for family members who are elderly or disabled.

Those in areas potentially affected by the storm can follow these safety steps if flooding is predicted for their community:

* Listen to area radio and television stations and a NOAA Weather Radio for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress.
* Be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice.
* When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for the area, 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.
* If you come upon a flooded road while 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. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
* Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

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URL: http://www.redcross.org
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