Local Red Cross Readies for Possible Severe Weather, Offers Safety Tips
Volunteers Placed on Alert if Needed in Wake of Any Severe Weather This Afternoon
FARMINGTON, CONN., July 26, 2012 – The American Red Cross is preparing to respond today if severe weather forecast for the afternoon creates a need, said Connecticut and Rhode Island Region CEO Mario Bruno.
“We have reached out to our volunteers asking them to keep an eye on the weather and to let us know their availability in the event we need their help later today,” Mr. Bruno said. “We ask them first to be prepared for their own safety so that they can be ready to help others.”
Mr. Bruno said the Red Cross would be monitoring the situation throughout the day and would, if needed, coordinate any activity with state emergency planners and be ready to help local communities. “If there is a need for us to help with possible sheltering or distribution of supplies, we will have our team ready.”
Today’s forecast includes the potential for strong winds, heavy rain, damaging hail and flooding. Mr. Bruno said Connecticut residents should prepare ahead of the weather to avoid problems later.
“Take in outdoor furniture that could be damaged or could cause damaged in high winds,” Mr. Bruno said. “Be sure you know where your flashlight and portable radio are, and have fresh batteries. And make sure your cell phone is fully charged in the event you need to communicate in a power outage.”
If storms do materialize, Mr. Bruno urged people to seek shelter and keep tuned to local media for information. “If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. At the first sound of thunder, seek shelter indoors. Open-sided shelters are not adequate protection. Stay away from windows during severe storms. And don’t bathe, shower or use plumbing during electrical storms.”
If the storms bring flooding or power outages, Mr. Bruno had additional advice. “Don’t drive through standing water. It can hide hazards such as washed-out roads or dangerous debris. If you seen downed power lines anywhere, STAY CLEAR! Assume those lines are live and dangerous.”
More information about severe weather safety and other preparedness tips are available at www.ctredcross.org. The Red Cross also offers a free First Aid and preparedness information app for iPhone or Android smartphones. It is available for download by visiting www.redcross.org/firstaidapp or by texting GETFIRST to 90999.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.