Red Cross: Don’t let your guard down for Ike
Ike’s winds, storm surge may impact southern Louisiana
ST. ROSE, LA., Sept. 11, 2008 – Residents of southern Louisiana need to pay attention to the effects of Hurricane Ike, even as it plows west across the Gulf of Mexico. The American Red Cross reminds residents to be prepared to take care of themselves and their loved ones in case high winds or coastal flooding change conditions suddenly.
“Throughout the hurricane season, we want to be sure everyone pays attention, has a plan and gets the supplies they might need,” said Bill Salmeron, director of emergency services for the Southeast Louisiana chapter of the Red Cross. “Although it looks like the worst of Ike is going to hit farther west, we can expect to feel some of the effects here and we don’t want people to be caught unprepared.”
Red Cross disaster workers are preparing to accommodate new residents at shelters and are adjusting public feeding operations to be sure both clients and workers remain safe while Ike influences conditions here.
“We’re beefing up our capacity at shelters and we’re being sure all the shelters are stocked with extra heater meals and snacks,” said Crae Arnette, director of Red Cross hurricane relief operations for the 13 parishes in southeastern Louisiana. “To be sure our people are safe, we’re pulling our food delivery trucks off the roads after lunch today. As soon as winds and road conditions permit, our field kitchens will resume operations; we expect this will be Saturday morning.”
The National Weather Service predicts storm surge flooding of five to seven feet above normal tidal levels along with rainfall of one to two inches, which may flood low-lying areas and roadways. Meanwhile, high winds may bring down power lines or debris, blocking roadways temporarily.
Residents should monitor local radio stations and other sources of information from law enforcement and emergency management authorities.
The Red Cross reminds people to prepare now:
- Be sure you know the best way to get from your home, school or workplace to locations outside flood zones. Remember, your normal route may be under water or blocked by fallen debris, so have an alternate route in mind. Do not drive through standing water; treat downed utility lines as if they are live electric wires.
- Keep your vehicle’s gas tank at least half full.
- Review your family’s communication plan with each member. Be sure everyone – including youngsters – has a list of contact phone numbers, including one for a point of contact outside the flood zone.
- Check your disaster supply kit. Do you have bottled water, non-perishable foods, medications and other supplies you may need if you can’t leave home, or if you have to leave home on short notice?
Red Cross disaster workers have been working since before Hurricane Gustav made landfall on Sept. 1 to help the region prepare for and then recover from the storm. Shelters remain open to accommodate evacuees who have not been able to return home and feeding operations continue to serve areas where power has not been restored.
For more information about how individuals and families can prepare for disasters, visit http://www.redcross.org or contact the Southeast Louisiana Red Cross chapter.
Additional Information for this press release:
- Southeast Louisiana Chapter
- Contact: Michelle Hebert – (504) 915-8746