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American Red Cross Urges Florida to Get Ready for Tropical Storm Fay


American Red Cross Shares Safety Tips and Provides Pre-Storm Services

WASHINGTON — At a time when people in Florida are used to carrying sunscreen and heading to the beach, tourists and residents in threatened areas are being directed to take action to prepare for Tropical Storm Fay. Coastal and inland residents may be affected by tornadoes, high winds, flooding and coastal storm surge in the coming days.

Hurricane Charley devastated parts of western Florida in 2004 – those who were there remember the chaos and destruction it caused. The Red Cross knows that planning and taking action now can help prevent some ill effects of Tropical Storm Fay.

Red Cross volunteers and employees respond to disaster needs year-round, but hurricane season brings more intensity to activities in coastal states like Florida. Strategically positioned supplies and advanced planning help make preparations proceed quickly. Since Fay became a blip on the National Hurricane Center’s radar, Red Cross workers have been working around the clock to ensure that people and supplies are in place in order to be as ready as possible to help those who will be affected by this storm.

Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) from Florida and other southern states stand ready to deliver supplies and meals to victims who may be without power and unable to find stores and restaurants who are serving in the coming days.

Residents and tourists are being advised to listen closely to local authorities and follow directions on how to be prepared and stay safe. The Red Cross Safe and Well website enables people to get messages to loved ones who may be wondering about their welfare during and after the storm. People can update their information following the storm in order to keep friends and family informed. The Red Cross has several shelters open and on standby throughout the state to provide people a safe place to stay while awaiting Fay.

Tornadoes and power outages are key concerns, and the Red Cross offers the following tips to help Floridians prepare:

When a tornado warning is issued:

* If you are inside, go to a safe place away from glass and other flying objects.
* If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area.
* If you are in a car or mobile home, get out immediately and head for a safe area (as above).

If a power outage occurs:

* Turn off or disconnect all motor-driven appliances and fixtures to avoid damage from sudden surges when power is restored.
* Only use a flashlight for emergency lighting. Never use candles!
* Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer.
* Do not run a generator inside a home or garage.
* If you use a generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a generator to a home’s electrical system.
* Listen to local radio for updated information.

The most important information the Red Cross is conveying at this time is to listen to and follow the advice of local authorities. Hurricane and tropical storm warnings are serious, and even the most experienced veterans can suffer devastating effects if they are unprepared. For more information on how to prepare, please contact 1-800 RED CROSS or for more information.

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like Tropical Storm Fay, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting


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