Isaac could make landfall in Florida in the next few days and the American Red Cross is getting ready to respond if needed.
The Red Cross is preparing to open dozens of shelters across Florida, and moving hundreds of trained disaster workers into the state. There are 22 Red Cross emergency response vehicles already in Florida and 28 more are moving into the state in advance of the storm with an additional 78 on stand-by if needed. The Red Cross is mobilizing five truckloads of disaster supplies to send to Florida and Red Cross disaster warehouses in Georgia and Mississippi are ready to ship emergency supplies if necessary.
Locally, the American Red Cross, Florida's Southern Gulf Region is continuing to prepare for potential effects from Isaac. Today, regional volunteer leadership gathered in Estero to discuss and confirm its course of action. The region is also moving forward this afternoon as it sets up a DOC (Disaster Operations Center) in its Collier County office. The DOC is set to be operational as of Friday morning and will serve as the Red Cross headquarters for Collier, Lee, Hendry and Glades counties.
"As Isaac travels northward, we're getting ready to help people in Florida," said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president for Red Cross Disaster Services. "We urge folks who may be in the path of this storm to get prepared too to check their emergency supplies, finalize their hurricane plans, and listen closely to local officials for updates on the storm."
RED CROSS HURRICANE APP:
One step people should take now is to download the free Red Cross Hurricane App for mobile devices which puts real time information on hurricane safety at someone's fingertips. The app features information on Red Cross shelters and a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm. The one-touch "I'm Safe" button lets someone use social media outlets to tell family and friends they are okay. People across the country planning to travel to areas that could get hit with the storm can use the app to receive weather alerts. The Hurricane App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.
Before the storm, people should prepare by taking the following steps:
Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If someone does not have hurricane shutters, they should close and board up their windows and doors with plywood.
Fill their vehicle's gas tank.
Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind, like outdoor furniture.
Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep closed as much as possible so food will last longer if the power goes out.
More information on what to do before, during and after a storm is available on the Red Cross web site.
HOW TO HELP:
If anyone would like to help, they can make a donation by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to their local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.