The American Red Cross is “mobilizing disaster workers and equipment” along much of the east coast to help people in the path of Hurricane Irene. “Dozens of shelters are being prepared all along the East Coast” according to the Red Cross press materials.
Hurricane Irene is predicted to be the largest storm to hit the East Coast in more than 70 years. As the east coast hunkers down, several big population centers, including Washington, DC, New York City and Boston, are preparing to keep citizens safe and minimize damage to millions of people.
Irene is now traveling through North Carolina, with heavy winds and rain.Three storm related deaths have already been reported, according to CNN.
The Red Cross has opened shelters in North Carolina as state as evacuation orders go into effect. More than 200 Red Cross mobile feeding vehicles headed toward the North Carolina Coast to help people in the path of the storm. Also, “The Red Cross has been organizing volunteers, vehicles and supplies to get ready for a response effort that spans nearly the entire East Coast,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross in a press release.”
While we’re getting ready at the Red Cross, we want everyone in the storm’s path to get ready as well by getting a disaster kit, making a family emergency plan, and listening to local officials regarding evacuations.”
How to find a Red Cross Shelter in your area
- People can find open Red Cross shelters by viewing an interactive Google map at http://www.redcross.org/ or by downloading the free Red Cross shelter app for their iPhone from the iTunes store.
- A mobile-friendly version of the Hurricane Safety Checklist is now available for smart phone users to download at www.redcross.org/mobile.
“It’s important that those affected by the storm stay in contact with loved ones and the Red Cross Safe and Well website can help them do that,” the Red Cross said in a press release.
Safe and Well is a secure, easy-to-use online tool to help families connect in an emergency. People can register by visiting the Red Cross web site or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Additionally, the Red Cross advises that “a hurricane watch means hurricane conditions could be a threat within 48 hours. An upgrade to a hurricane warning will mean hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours. Those in the affected area should finish their storm preparations and evacuate if authorities ask them to do so.”
Hurricane Irene has caused significant damage in the southern Bahamas and the Bahamas
Red Cross is managing shelters and helping people displaced by the storm. The Red Cross has sent a regional disaster management expert is headed to the Bahamas to assist with disaster assessment and response.In the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Red Cross is organized volunteers to help with the flooding, damage to homes and impassable roads left in the storm’s wake. The United Nations is reporting hundreds of homes have been damaged and it is difficult to communicate with many localities, according to the Red Cross.