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Red Cross Urges Safety in Wake of Hurricane Ike
Date:9/14/2008

Sheltering and relief efforts underway in affected areas

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- One day after Hurricane Ike crashed into the Texas coast as a Category 2 hurricane, the American Red Cross is providing shelter, food and emotional support to the tens of thousands of residents affected by the powerful storm. Although it has weakened in strength, the storm is still delivering tropical storm rain and high winds throughout Arkansas as it heads toward the Midwest.

With more than 150 shelters opened across the affected areas, in coordination with their partners, the Red Cross has helped nearly 20,000 residents find a safe place to wait out the storm but also the subsequent flooding that is occurring.

Many areas are open only to emergency responders, but once officials determine it is safe to enter storm ravaged areas, the Red Cross will work with partners to establish more than 25 kitchens that are capable of producing up to 500,000 meals per day. In those areas where residents are allowed to return home, safety is a primary concern. The American Red Cross encourages residents to follow all public safety and law enforcement directives.

Tips for post-hurricane safety:

-- Listen to the authorities -- A battery-operated radio will help you stay on top of the local situation. Broadcasts will carry important news from public officials and utilities.

-- Take basic supplies -- You are likely to need a flashlight (no candles!), trash bags, gloves and cleaning supplies. Don't expect to find stores stocked with these essentials, so bring them with you. You may need cash for unexpected expenses, so be prepared.

-- Perimeter check -- Check the home by walking around outside before entering. Look for loose power lines or gas leaks from the outside first and report them. If there are cracks around the foundation, contact a home construction professional to inspect the home.

-- As you enter a home
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SOURCE American Red Cross
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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