NEW JERSEY – National Hurricane Preparedness Week is April 30 to May 6 and the American Red Cross urges everyone who lives in hurricane-prone areas to plan now for any dangerous storms that may threaten this year.
Hurricane season starts June 1 and runs through November 30.
The last two hurricane seasons were very destructive. The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season was the third-most active on record, and 2022 was one of the costliest in history due to Hurricane Ian.
This year’s hurricane outlook is part of a years-long trend of more frequent and intense climate disasters, and people who live in areas where hurricanes are a threat are facing another busy year. In the last 10 years, the number of billion-dollar disasters in the U.S. has increased 70%. And historically, hurricanes have accounted for eight of the 10 most costly weather disasters.
There are simple steps you can take to be prepared:
- Create an evacuation plan. Plan what to do in case you are separated from your family during an emergency and if you have to evacuate. Coordinate your plan with your child’s school, your work and your community’s emergency plans. Plan multiple routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for pets. If you already have an emergency plan, update it and review with family members so everyone knows what to do if an emergency occurs.
- Build an emergency kit with a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for an infant and pets if applicable, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information. Because of the pandemic, include a mask for everyone in your household. If you already have a disaster kit, now is the time make sure the food and water is still okay to consume and that copies of important documents are up to date.
- Be informed. Find out how local officials will contact you during a disaster and how you will get important information, such as evacuation orders.
Download the free Red Cross First Aid app so you’ll know what to do if emergency help is delayed and the free Emergency app for weather alerts, open Red Cross shelter locations and safety steps for different emergencies. Choose whether you want to view the content in English or Spanish with an easy-to-find language selector. Find these and all of the Red Cross apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
Volunteers are needed because of the climate crisis, the Red Cross is now launching nearly twice as many relief operations for major disasters than we did a decade ago. This growing need for assistance is prompting us to increase our volunteer capacity so we can continue responding on a near-constant basis, officials said.
Their volunteers are at the heart of our mission and represent 90% of our workforce. Already across the country, they’re continuously on the ground, providing shelter, comfort, hot meals, health services and recovery support to families who are overwhelmed and have nowhere else to go. The need to help during disasters has never been greater. Join us to provide relief and hope when it matters most.
Visit redcross.org/volunteertoday to sign up for opportunities with your local chapter.
Their most-needed disaster positions include supporting shelters and providing health services.
- Shelter Support: Help at a shelter during a large disaster by welcoming and registering residents, serving meals, setting up cots, distributing blankets and personal hygiene kits, and providing information and other assistance to people in need.
- Health Services: We also need volunteers who can use their professional skills as a licensed health care provider to deliver hands-on support, including care and education to people staying at a shelter during a large disaster. Qualified licenses include RN, LPN, LVN, EMT, Paramedic, MD, DO, PA, NP and APRN.
- Disaster Action Team: While big disasters get the most news coverage, smaller disasters, such as home fires, are no less devastating to those affected. Join your local Disaster Action Team to help families in need by providing food, lodging, comfort, recovery assistance and other support.