Editor's note: Madison and Connecticut officials are asking residents to start planning for the possibility of Hurricane Sandy affecting the area. Here is some information from the American Red Cross urging residents to do the same.
With all eyes watching Hurricane Sandy’s progress toward the east coast of the U.S., the American Red Cross is taking steps to prepare for the storm’s possible impact in Connecticut.
“We are reaching out to volunteers to determine their availability, checking our supplies, verifying potential shelter information and reaching out to local communities to check on their preparations and concerns,” said American Red Cross spokesperson Paul Shipman. “We are preparing now so we can be ready if needed.”
Shipman is also reminding the public that now is a good time to begin any preparations at home to help ease the disruption that could be caused by the storm.
“Unfortunately, many of us have very clear memories of last year’s October snowstorm or of Tropical Storm Irene last August. Think back to what you wished you had done then to better prepare and start taking those steps now,” Shipman said.
Shipman said the Red Cross recommends that everyone “Build a kit, make a plan and be informed. Those are the building blocks of readiness.”
Build an Emergency Kit. Emergency kits should contain a three-day supply of water for each person in the household, along with food that doesn’t require refrigeration, flashlights, a battery-operated radio and a first aid kit. A full list of suggested items is available on redcross.org. Be sure that you include food and water for your pets.
Make a Plan. Do you have a family evacuation plan? Know potential routes out of your area and have possible locations where you might be able to temporarily shelter with family or friends or at a hotel or motel. If you have pets, make sure you factor them into your plans. Whether you need to evacuate or shelter in place at home, make sure that you have a several days’ supply of any important medications for yourself and family members.
Be Informed. You should know your community’s risks for storm hazards like flooding. If evacuations are a possibility in your community, know where you will get information on routes and locations. Check with local officials to learn where to get this information. Also keep up with local news reports when a storm is predicted for your area. Hurricane Sandy is still several days away and impacts may change; local weather updates will help you prepare.
Shipman said another way to stay informed about Hurricane Sandy is by downloading the free Red Cross Hurricane App which puts real time information and hurricane safety tips at your fingertips.
• The app features information on Red Cross shelters, a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm.
• The one-touch “I’m Safe” button lets someone use social media outlets to let family and friends know they are okay.
• People across the country planning to travel to areas predicted to get hit with the storm can use the app to receive weather alerts.
• The hurricane app is also available in Spanish. Users need to change the language setting on their smart phone to Spanish before downloading the app.
“We hope that Sandy’s effects are minimal,” Shipman said. “But we also hope that people take the opportunity to prepare now, so they can better weather the storm.”
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 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.