Tropical Storm Dolly Threatens Texas Coast
Red Cross Provides Hurricane Preparedness Tips and Encourages Families to Use Safe and Well Website
WASHINGTON, July 2008 — According to forecasters, Tropical Storm Dolly may strengthen to become a Category 1 Hurricane and a hurricane warning is currently in effect from Rio San Fernando, Mexico to Port O’Connor, Texas. In preparation for the storm, the American Red Cross has shelters on standby in Texas and is working with local community partners to address additional shelter needs. In addition, more than 50 emergency response vehicles are ready to respond. As Dolly continues to track northwestward toward the Texas coast, the American Red Cross encourages residents to prepare by completing the below checklist.
* Monitor media reports. Watch TV, listen to AM/FM or NOAA weather radio and check the Internet for updates.
* Review or develop a family communication plan so you will know how to contact each other and where to meet. Identify an out-of-area contact person that family members and friends can call if you are separated from one another.
* Register with the Red Cross Safe and Well Web site. If you are affected by a disaster, this public site provides a way for you to register yourself and communicate your well-being to your family members. You can input information directly or via phone. The site is accessible via www.redcross.org.
* Update or create your disaster supplies kit. Your kit should have the following items: 3-day supply of water (1 gallon per person, per day), nonperishable food, manual can opener, flashlight, battery-operated or crank radio, extra batteries, first aid kit, prescription and non-prescription medications, cash, and copies of important documents such as bank account numbers, social security card, driver’s license and insurance policies.
* Prepare your home. Bring inside: bicycles, lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants, outdoor decorations or ornaments, or anything else that can be carried by the wind. Close windows and doors, then close hurricane shutters or cover windows with plywood.
* Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. The floodwaters may still be rising and the car could be swept away at any moment.
* Plan your evacuation route. Use local maps and identify alternate evacuation routes from home, work and/or school. Know where you are going and how you plan to get there before you leave home.
* Evacuate immediately if advised to do so. Follow the direction of local authorities on which routes to take, which evacuation shelters to seek and other important advice.
* Take your pets with you. If it is not safe for you, it is not safe for them. Red Cross emergency shelters cannot accept pets unless they are service animals. Prepare a list of family, friends, pet-friendly motels and boarding facilities that could shelter your animals.
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