Hurricane Irene is predicted to be the largest storm to hit the East Coast in more than 70 years, and could threaten several big population centers. A hurricane watch has been issued for the North Carolina coast and the Red Cross has opened shelters in the state as evacuation orders go into effect. In addition, more than 200 Red Cross mobile feeding vehicles are heading towards the coast to help people in the path of the storm.
"The Red Cross is moving volunteers, vehicles and supplies, getting ready for a response effort that spans nearly the entire East Coast," said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. "While we're getting ready at the Red Cross, we want everyone in the storm's path to get ready as well by getting a disaster kit, making a family emergency plan, and listening to local officials regarding evacuations."
Dozens of shelters are being prepared all along the East Coast. People can find open Red Cross shelters by viewing an interactive Google map at www.redcross.org or by downloading the free Red Cross shelter app for their iPhone from the iTunes store. A mobile-friendly version of the Hurricane Safety Checklist is now available for smart phone users to download at www.redcross.org/mobile.
It’s important that those affected by the storm stay in contact with loved ones and the Red Cross Safe and Well website can help them do that. Safe and Well is a secure, easy-to-use online tool to help families connect in an emergency. People can register by visiting the Red Cross web site or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Locally, the American Red Cross of the Delmarva Peninsula is:
*Working very closely with DEMA, the County Emergency Management Managers and the
Emergency Management Manager for the City of Wilmington
* Preparing to open 2 shelters in New Castle County
* Preparing to open 2 shelters in Kent County
* Preparing to open 3 shelters in Sussex County
* Deploying an American Red Cross liaison to the DEMA Emergency Operations Center
* Deploying local resources and trailers to the previously mentioned sheltering locations
* Mobilizing Red Cross volunteers to support sheltering and other needs
* Securing national Red Cross resources for use on the Delmarva Peninsula (primarily cots, blankets and comfort kits - most if not all are likely to be utilized in Sussex County)
* Promoting personal emergency preparedness to the community via media and social media outlets
For more information, please visit www.redcross.org.