WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross is preparing to respond to Hurricane Sandy all along the East Coast and urges everyone who may be affected by the storm to get ready too.
"The Red Cross is mobilizing volunteers, shelters, relief supplies and disaster vehicles to be ready to help," said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. "Sandy is predicted to affect families all along the East Coast and we urge everyone in the potential path to keep informed about the storm's progress, check their emergency supplies, and go over their household's emergency plan."
The Red Cross is mobilizing disaster workers in the regions that weather experts say will be affected by the storm and has more than 100 emergency response vehicles on alert. Supplies are ready to be moved and shelter locations are being identified across multiple states. The Red Cross is working closely with federal, state and local government officials, as well as community partners to coordinate response efforts.
Sandyhas caused damage throughout the Caribbean and is headed to the United States where it could combine with a cold front along the eastern seaboard to form a "perfect storm" that could bring strong winds, flooding, power outages and strong rip currents along the east coast, with the possibility of snow in the higher elevations.
COULD AFFECT PEOPLE FROM FLORIDA TO MAINE Weather experts predict the storm could make landfall somewhere in the mid-Atlantic area as early as Sunday and linger over the region for several days. Storm warnings and watches are already issued as far north as North Carolina. Tropical storm conditions could affect Florida's weather today with Sandy affecting conditions in the Carolinas Saturday. The storm could produce as much as a foot of rain in some areas
GET READY The Red Cross has information on its website about how to get prepared for the storm, including steps for hurricane and power outage emergencies. Videos are also available to help get prepared, including information on severe weather preparedness, how to get ready for winter weather and what to do when rip currents are an issue.
RED CROSS APPS The free Red Cross Hurricane App for mobile devices provides real-time hurricane safety information such as weather alerts and where Red Cross shelters are located. The app also features a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm, and the one-touch "I'm Safe" button lets someone use social media sites to tell family and friends they are okay. The Hurricane App is available in Spanish. Users just need to make sure the language setting on their smart phone is set to Spanish before downloading. The First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in someone's hand. The apps can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.
CARIBBEAN RESPONSE Red Cross Societies are responding in Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba which have all suffered damaging winds and flash flooding. More than 230 Red Cross volunteers in Cuba are helping evacuees in areas prone to floods. The Bahamas Red Cross has activated its Community Disaster Response Teams on several islands that are reporting power outages.
Red Cross shelters in Jamaica are open to evacuees and others affected by storm surges. Some areas are reporting loss of power and road closures from floods and fallen trees. The regional disaster response hub has deployed a disaster management delegate to Jamaica and is on standby to distribute relief supplies throughout the region if and when needed.
In Haiti, more than 800 families evacuated to shelters. The Government of Haiti extended its "red alert" nationwide and schools are closed. The Red Cross has increased its SMS (texting) campaign providing tips on how to stay safe and respond even after the storm has passed. Red Cross Emergency Response Teams are on standby and able to distribute relief supplies to up to 11,000 families if needed.
HOW TO HELP To help people affected by disasters like hurricanes, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
CORPORATIONS LEND A HAND The Red Cross is aided in its disaster work by more than 30 leading corporations that are members of the organization's Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and Disaster Responder (DR) program. Members of these programs pledge donations on an ongoing basis, in advance of major disasters. With pre-positioned supplies and adequately secured resources, the Red Cross can immediately take action when disasters strike.
The 2012 ADGP members are: 3M; Altria Group; Aon; Bank of America; Briggs & Stratton Corporation; Caterpillar Inc.; Cisco Foundation; Citi Foundation; Community Safety Foundation funded by AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah Insurance Exchange; ConAgra Foods Foundation; Costco Wholesale Corporation; Darden Restaurants, Inc.; Dell Inc.; Dr Pepper Snapple Group; Edison International; FedEx Corporation; GE Foundation; Hewlett-Packard Company Foundation; The Home Depot Foundation; John Deere Foundation; Johnson Controls; Kimberly-Clark Corporation; Kraft Foods; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; Merck Co. Foundation; Nationwide Insurance Foundation; Northrop Grumman; Optum; PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation; Southwest Airlines; State Farm; Target; The TJX Companies, Inc.; UnitedHealthcare; University of Phoenix; UPS; Walmart; The Walt Disney Company; WellPoint Foundation; and Wells Fargo
The 2012 DR members are: American Express; ArcelorMittal; AstraZeneca; AXA Foundation; Farmers Insurance; Ford Motor Company; General Motors Foundation; H&R Block; Ingersoll Rand; Meijer; Morgan Stanley; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; PuroClean; Ryder Charitable Foundation; Starbucks Coffee Company and Starbucks Foundation; State Street Foundation; Sunoco; Tyson Foods, Inc.; and US Airways
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.
SOURCE American Red Cross