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Before Winter Snow, More Flooding for the Northwest


The Red Cross is responding to severe flooding in Oregon and Washington State caused by back-to-back storms on Sunday and Monday. Bringing hurricane force winds along with inches of rain, the storms have caused mudslides and extensive power outages in addition to the flooding. Current reports estimate that several thousand homes have been affected by either power outages or flood waters across both states., and with sections of major roads unsafe for travel, residents and responders alike are challenged to move to shelters or send needed resources into the affected areas.

With careful pre-positioning of supplies and by working with local businesses, Red Cross chapters were able to respond immediately, opening shelters, or supporting community shelters with supplies. The Red Cross is coordinating with officials at state and county emergency operation centers to monitor the changing situation and commit and ensure the movement of additional supplies and people into the affected areas. Even without additional rainfall, the flood waters and inaccessible roadways will continue to have a serious impact on residents for the foreseeable future.

Residents who have been, or may be impacted by these floods should take additional safety precautions. For those who must, or have already evacuated their homes, register on the Red Cross Safe and Well site, where you can leave behind a message for your loved ones. If you are unable to register, but are able to contact a family member, ask them to register on your behalf. Family and friends will be able to search the Safe and Well site with specific identifying information and view the message you have left behind.

Following a disaster, the short message left on this site can be enough to give your friends and family peace of mind. To register a family member on Safe and Well, visit, or call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) for assistance from a Red Cross agent.

In addition to registering on the Safe and Well site, residents should complete these additional steps to prepare for flooding:

* Head for higher ground and stay away from floodwater.
* Know the difference between a flood watch and a warning. Listen to the news for updates about your area. A flood watch means a flood is possible in your area. A flood warning means flooding is already occurring, or will occur soon.
* If you havenít done so already, get a disaster supplies kit together with necessary items including a 3-day supply of water (1 gallon/person/day), non-perishable food, flashlight, battery-operated or crank radio, first aid supplies, and your important documents (for example, birth certificates, passports, insurance policies, deed/title to home).
* Listen to and follow the directions of local authorities. If you are told to evacuate, grab your disaster supplies kit and leave immediately. If you are driving and see floodwater, turn around and go a different way. Never drive through floodwater.

Residents in homes without power should also be aware of the following safety tips:

* Only use a flashlight for emergency lighting. Never use candles!
* Turn off electrical equipment you were using when the power went out.
* 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 homeís electrical system.
* Listen to local radio and television for updated information.

For detailed information on what to do in case of flooding and power outages visit If you are in the impacted areas and need assistance, call your local Red Cross chapter, or 1-800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767.

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 the flooding in Washington and Oregon, 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-RED-CROSS 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, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting


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