The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
Happy New Year! As we begin 2015, this is a perfect time to resolve that you and your family are prepared for what tends to be the coldest months of the year for the Mid-South. By preparing together for winter storms, we can make our families safer and our community stronger. It is important to have a disaster preparedness plan ready, before our community is threatened by dangerously low temperatures, snow, ice and strong winds.
As with any disaster, preparation can be the difference between life and death. The Red Cross recommends that individuals and families prepare for winter storms by:
• Assembling an Emergency Preparedness Kit: Pack a winter-specific supply kit that includes a warm coat, hat, mittens or gloves, and water-resistant boots, along with extra blankets and extra warm clothing. Sand or non-clumping kitty litter is good to have on hand to help make walkways or steps less slippery. Additionally, make sure you have a first aid kit and essential medications, canned food and can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries in your home in the event of a power outage.
• Heeding Storm Warnings: A winter storm WATCH means winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions via NOAA Weather radio, or local radio or television stations. A winter storm WARNING means that life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. Individuals in a warning area should take precautions immediately.
• Preparing Your Home and Car: Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full, which will help to keep the fuel line from freezing. Make sure your home is properly insulated by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to help keep cold air out. Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year. Running water, even at a trickle, helps to prevent pipes from freezing.
Another way to prepare is to become a Red Cross volunteer or to encourage a friend to volunteer with you! 96% of all Red Cross services are provided by volunteers. Volunteers support areas ranging from disaster response when families are displaced by fires, flooding or other disasters to public affairs to fundraising to mass care to administrative support. Fulfill your new year’s resolution of helping your community by becoming a Red Cross volunteer or referring a friend to become a volunteer! Contact Kevin at 901-672-6351 or firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope that you and your family have a safe and prosperous new year,