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Hurricane Season Heats Up
Date:8/17/2009

Red Cross reminds you to stay prepared

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With two storms swirling in the Atlantic Ocean, the American Red Cross issues a reminder for people who live in hurricane-prone areas to update their preparedness plans.

(Logo:http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090108/RedCrossLOGO)

"Just this weekend Tropical Storm Claudette formed very quickly in the Gulf of Mexico, proof you don't always have a lot of time to get ready for a storm," said Joe Becker, senior vice president of Red Cross Disaster Services. "If someone lives where these storms can cause problems, they need to get ready now."

All eyes are on Hurricane Bill, a Category One storm with sustained winds of 75 mph. According to the National Hurricane Center, Bill could become a major hurricane later this week, throwing wind and rough surf at the East Coast. Claudette, downgraded to a Tropical Depression, may drop three to six inches of rain across parts of Florida and Alabama today, heading into Mississippi tonight. Tropical Depression Ana could dump two to four inches of rain today on Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and the Dominican Republic.

The Red Cross offers steps people can take to make sure they're prepared:

  • Know the difference between a Hurricane Watch and Warning.
  • If you are under a Hurricane Watch, hurricane conditions are a threat within 36 hours. Review your hurricane plans, keep informed and be ready to act if a warning is issued.
  • A Hurricane Warning means hurricane conditions are expected within 24 hours. Complete your storm preparations and leave the area if directed to do so by authorities.
  • Check your disaster supplies kit now. Gather basic items needed during an emergency and store them in a sturdy, sealable, easy-to-carry container.
  • Go over your emergency plan. Identify two meeting places, one near your home, and one outside your area in case you can't return home. Make plans for your pets. Select an out-of-area emergency contact person.
  • Be informed. Know how local officials will contact you. Listen to local radio, television or NOAA weather radio channels during the emergency and follow the guidance of your local officials.
  • Don't forget about the Red Cross Safe and Well website, an easy way to notify loved ones of your well-being. You can sign up on the web site or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Friends and family can then search for your message by using your phone number or complete address.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization -- not a government agency -- and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.


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SOURCE American Red Cross
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