MIAMI — Tropical Storm Fred is making its way across the Caribbean with wind gusts of over 45 mph as it approaches Florida with heavy rainfall. These conditions could lead to dangerous flash flooding. The American Red Cross stands ready to respond to the potential impacts of the storm and encourages the community to take steps now to prepare.
With the ongoing pandemic, being prepared and staying informed is more important now than ever. As you put together your emergency plan, understand that these plans may look a little different. The Red Cross offers safety steps and resources to help you get ready now.
• Know the difference between a watch and warning. A WATCH means a hurricane, tropical storm, or flooding is possible. A WARNING means conditions are expected within 36 hours. Take immediate precautions.
• Get your home ready. Cover windows with storm shutters or plywood. Store outside items, such as lawn furniture and trash cans, to prevent them from being moved by high winds and possibly hurting someone.
• Tune into your local radio, NOAA radio, or news channels for the latest updates. Obey evacuation orders from local officials.
• Check your emergency kit and replace any missing items.
• Prepare to evacuate quickly and know your routes and destinations.
• Fill your car’s gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.
• Never ride out a severe storm in a mobile home, even if it’s in a non-evacuation zone.
• Don’t forget your pets. Bring them indoors and maintain direct control of them. Prepare a pet emergency kit with leashes or carriers, food, water, bowls, cat litter and box, and photos of you with your pet in case you are separated.
• Stay indoors; avoid beaches, riverbanks, and floodwaters. Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding. Don’t walk, swim, or drive through floodwaters. Remember: Turn around, don’t drown.
• Use flashlights in the dark if the power goes out. Avoid using candles.
Download the free Red Cross Emergency App for real-time weather alerts, open shelters, and expert advice on emergency situations. The Emergency App includes an “I’m Safe” feature that helps people check on loved ones. Search “American Red Cross” in app stores or go to redcross.org/apps. You can also enable the Red Cross Hurricane Alert skill on Amazon Alexa-enabled devices to receive warnings about an approaching hurricane and preparedness information.
The Red Cross has guidance available in multiple languages on getting prepared while still protecting yourself from COVID-19 at https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/coronavirus-safety/preparing-for-disaster-during-covid-19.html.
Be Red Cross Ready when the time comes with these tropical storm preparedness tips available in English, Spanish, and Creole.