5 Ways to Prepare Now: Red Cross Tells You How

As Harvey gains strength in the Gulf of Mexico, potentially affecting the Houston area and other parts of the Texas coast and Louisiana, the American Red Cross is encouraging local residents “to start getting prepared now.”


The Red Cross office in Houston says that getting ready means:

--Assembling an emergency preparedness kit.

--Creating a household evacuation plan that includes your pets.

--Staying informed about your community’s risk and response plans.

--Educating your family on how to use the Safe and Well website.

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If you or a member of your household is an individual with access or functional needs, including a disability, consider developing a comprehensive evacuation plan in advance with family, care providers and care attendants, as appropriate. Complete a personal assessment of functional abilities and possible needs during and after an emergency or disaster situation, and create a personal support network to assist.

For detailed guidance, see FEMA’s Emergency Planning for People with Disabilities, Access and Functional Needs – FEMA – Landing Page (English), FEMA Checklist (English , Spanish , English – Large Print), Video (English language with American Sign Language).


Also, the Red Cross says people should understand the difference between watches and warnings:

--A Hurricane Watch is when conditions are a threat within 48 hours. It’s then time to review your hurricane plans. Get ready to act if a warning is issued, and stay informed.

--A Hurricane Warning is when conditions are expected within 36 hours. It’s then time to complete your storm preparations and leave the area if directed to do so by authorities.

--Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings: Take these alerts seriously. Although tropical storms have lower wind speeds than hurricanes, they often bring life-threatening flooding and dangerous winds.


--Keep listening to Newsradio 740 KTRH on radio, battery- or hand-cranked radio or the iHeart app.

--Talk with your family about what your plan. Discussions ahead of time help reduce fear, particularly for younger children.

--Ensure that every member of your family carries a Safe and Well wallet card.

--Make sure you have access to NOAA radio broadcasts and find an online NOAA radio station.

--Search for a NOAA radio app in the Apple Store or Google Play.

-- Take pictures on a phone and keep copies of important documents and files on a flash drive that you can carry with you on your house or car keys.

--Prepare a pet emergency kit for your companion animals.


Identify a place to store lawn furniture, toys, gardening tools and trash cans (away from stairs and exits) to prevent them from being moved by high winds and possibly hurting someone.

Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts to prevent flooding and unnecessary pressure on the awnings.

Remember that standard homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover flooding but flood insurance does. It's too late to buy it in time for Harvey , but for protection against future flood threats, get information at www.FloodSmart.gov.


Monitor Newsradio 740 KTRH, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates. KTRH is an official Emergency Alert station for the region.

Re-check your emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply, especially medications or other medical supplies. Keep it nearby.

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