09/01/10 — Red Cross offers storm tips

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Red Cross offers storm tips

By Dennis Hill
Published in News on September 1, 2010 1:46 PM

Red Cross officials are urging eastern North Carolina residents to "err on the side of caution," with Hurricane Earl threatening the state's coast.

Chuck Waller, local director for the Red Cross in Wayne County, said residents should be prepared.

"No one knows what this storm might do, but if it affects eastern North Carolina, we will be prepared," Waller said this morning.

Volunteers in the Wayne and Greene counties, as well as other counties in the region, are on alert to open shelters if necessary. A link on the www.redcross.org Web site will show what shelters are open so that evacuees can find them easily. Evacuees without a computer can call 1-800-REDCROSS for shelter information.

The Red Cross Web site also contains a "Safe and Well" link to help families and locate relatives who have been displaced by the storm.

The Red Cross urges residents to prepare home disaster kits and make other preparations for emergencies. Home disaster preparedness tips can be found at www.redcross.org. Here some safety tips recommended by Red Cross officials:

*Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).

*Check your disaster supplies and replace or restock as needed.

*Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).

*Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.

*Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.

*Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.

*Fill your car's gas tank.

*Talk with members of your household and create an evacuation plan. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.

*Learn about your community's hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for your pets to be cared for.

*Evacuate if advised by authorities. Be careful to avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.

*Because standard homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding, it's important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact the U.S. For more information on flood insurance, please visit the National Flood Insurance Program Web site at www.FloodSmart.gov.


News-Argus managing editor