Preparedness Information: Mosquito Safety

September 16, 2008

The combination of hot weather and standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Illnesses from mosquito bites are a concern after the recent hurricanes. But there are ways to try to prevent mosquito bites:

  • Use insect repellant on exposed skin when you go outdoors. Use an EPA-registered insect repellent such as those with DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Even a short time being outdoors can be long enough to get a mosquito bite.
  • When weather permits, wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent will give extra protection. Don’t apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin. Do not spray repellent on the skin under your clothing.
  • Be aware of peak mosquito hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many species of mosquitoes. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing during evening and early morning — or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.

Preparedness Information: Power Outage Safety

September 16, 2008
  • Only use a flashlight for emergency lighting. Never use candles!
  • Turn off electrical equipment you were using when the power went out.
  • Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer.
  • Do not run a generator inside a home or garage.
  • If you use a generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a generator to a home’s electrical system.
  • Listen to local radio and television for updated information.

Also available: Downloadable generator fact sheet in both English and Spanish

Handouts: Vietnamese Language Materials

September 16, 2008

Release: San Antonio Area Chapter 9.11.08

September 12, 2008

Red Cross Urges Preparedness as Hurricane Ike is Hours Away from the Gulf Coast

San Antonio, TX, September 11, 2008 – The urgent message today from the American Red Cross, San Antonio Area Chapter is prepare, prepare, prepare for those evacuating from the Texas Gulf Coast and for those here in South Central Texas. Resources are being mobilized ahead of Ike’s landfall and the Red Cross is continuing our preparations for a major response event as Hurricane Ike is charging toward the Texas Gulf Coast.

Ike is unpredictable and could cover a wide geography. The Red Cross is prepared: supplies such as cots, blankets, personal hygiene items and clean up kits are being restocked post Hurricane Gustav and Red Cross staff from across the country have started moving into the area.

The Red Cross is asking people across South Central Texas to do the following:


As stated above, today is about preparing whether evacuating and staying in a shelter or sheltering in place locally. The Red Cross urges people living in the evacuation zone to heed evacuation warnings. We are urging people to not let personal economic hardship prevent them from getting out of harm’s way. Listen to your local community for guidance on transportation to shelters and out of the storm zone. We urge evacuees to stay in shelters instead of hotels in order to avoid financial hardship during this emergency situation. Meals will be available at all shelter locations.

Those evacuating to San Antonio must report to Port of San Antonio where they will register and receive a shelter assignment. Special needs assistance is available and health needs will be met. Most importantly if you are evacuating please register on the Red Cross Safe & Well website were loved ones will be able to verify you are safe and being taken care of. This website is: To access Safe and Well by telephone, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)

Communities in San Antonio and South Central Texas must also be prepared for Hurricane Ike and to shelter in place. Now is the time to follow the Red Cross 3 Actions: Get a kit, make a plan, and be informed. Make sure you have enough supplies in your families’ emergency kit for at least 3 days. Supplies should include: food, water, medications, extra clothing, flashlight, batteries, first aid kit, cash, important personal documents and more. For a complete list of items to include in your kit, visit our website at Have an emergency plan and make sure all members of your family know what to do in the event of a disaster. Be informed and listen to local TV and radio announcements about the weather and storm. Be aware of local hazards in your community such as flood zones.


To support the Hurricane Ike relief efforts, the Red Cross is seeking as many as 500 volunteers to work in shelters, warehouses, and a call center as well as provide administrative support. To aid in the recruiting effort the San Antonio Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (SAVOAD) has activated the Volunteer Operations Center (VOC) at the Freeman Coliseum, Frontier Room, located at 3201 E. Houston St.

Members of the community wishing to help with the response to Hurricane Ike are asked to report in person to the Coliseum to register for volunteer opportunities. The VOC is best accessed via the West Entrance off E Houston St by the railroad tracks. Hours of operation will be 7:00 Am to 7:00 PM until further notice. The process includes completion of an application, background check and orientation. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and bring a photo ID. Job assignments will be made once the registration process is complete.


It’s only the middle of hurricane season and people in the paths of Ike and storms yet to come need your help. By supporting the Red Cross, you help us help others. Please support the relief efforts of the American Red Cross by making a financial gift to the Disaster Relief Fund. Donors can go online to or call 1.800.REDCROSS to make a donation. Cell phone users may also donate a $5 gift by text messaging the keyword “GIVE” to “2HELP” (24357).

Donations help the Red Cross operate our shelters and provide meals for evacuees, victims and workers. It buys things like food, cots, blankets, toiletries, and clean-up supplies. Donations also ensure we can move our volunteers to effected regions and provide the vital services needed.

For more information please contact the Red Cross at (210) 582-1997 or visit

Press Release: National 9.11.08

September 11, 2008

American Red Cross Urges, “Prepare for Ike”
As Hurricane Ike nears the Gulf Coast, evacuating Texans are urged to spare their families worry by registering on the Red Cross Safe and Well Web site.

Hurricane Ike is expected to make landfall late Friday evening or early Saturday morning, affecting areas of Texas and Louisiana. As the Red Cross continues moving relief supplies to Texas, its message to residents is urgent: listen to the directions of local officials; prepare to evacuate if told to do so; and register on the Red Cross Safe and Well Web site.

Before you evacuate your home, call someone you love and tell them you are safe. Then, ask them to register you on Safe and Well (, the Web site that allows people directly affected by a disaster to let their loved ones know that they are okay. Safe and Well is also accessible through the American Red Cross public Web site, For those without internet access, you can register yourself and your family by calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). Follow the prompts for disaster information.
Anyone evacuating to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family:

  • Prescription and emergency medications.
  • Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements.
  • Identification and important personal documents.
  • Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items.
  • Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys.
  • Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled.

When evacuating, be sure to pack medications and other supplies that you or a member of your family cannot do without. The Red Cross provides as many of items as possible for shelter resident’s comfort, but everything you need might not be readily available in a short-term shelter.

As the Red Cross continues helping individuals and families battered by the 2008 storms and hurricanes, a national fundraising campaign has been launched to raise an initial $100 million to fill a Disaster Relief Fund depleted after an active year of disasters. The Disaster Relief Fund allows the Red Cross to provide emergency assistance to help victims of disasters meet their immediate needs for food, shelter, counseling and other critical services.
You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the Hurricanes of 2008, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. You can log-on to or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) to make a donation. You can also use your cell phone to donate $5 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by text messaging the keyword “GIVE” to “2HELP” (24357). You can send multiple donations depending on your carrier. Contributions will appear on monthly bills or be debited from a prepaid account balance. All applicable text rates apply.

Photos: Hattiesburg, MS 9.10.08

September 11, 2008

The following photos are available for media distribution. Please click the photo for caption and courtesy information:

Hattiesburg, MS 9.10.08

Hattiesburg, MS 9.10.08 Hattiesburg, MS 9.10.08 Hattiesburg, MS 9.10.08

Hattiesburg, MS 9.10.08 Hattiesburg, MS 9.10.08 Hattiesburg, MS 9.10.08

Release: Prepare for Hurricane Ike

September 6, 2008

Red Cross: Prepare now for Hurricane Ike

Friday, Sept. 5, 2008 – While many may believe Louisiana was not heavily affected by Gustav, the American Red Cross continues to mount a huge relief effort to feed and shelter those who are returning home.

Another 24,000 people affected by Gustav are in shelters, and the Red Cross estimates it will spend between $40-$70 million to help people in the Gulf Coast area. Meanwhile, the Red Cross is positioned to help those in the path of Tropical Storm Hanna, and is looking ahead to respond to Hurricane Ike, already considered a dangerous hurricane on a track to hit Florida by the middle of next week.

The American Red Cross Polk County Chapter will be preparing this weekend for the approaching storm by contacting volunteers, checking and rechecking equipment, rehearsing procedures, and watching the weather.

Don’t wait for Hurricane Ike to arrive. Prepare now. Double check your disaster supplies kit. Rehearse plans to shelter or evacuate. Check that all equipment you need is in good working order, and contact family and friends to make sure your support network is in place. Also, follow local news and weather reports for the latest on this hurricane season.

To help people contact their loved ones, and set their hearts at ease, the American Red Cross has its “Safe and Well” website. As you evacuate, and only have time for one call, please call a loved one to let them know you are safe, and ask them to register you on “Safe and Well.”

To register yourself or someone else, go to and click on the link on the right to register as “Safe and Well.” Then follow the prompts: You have a choice of registering or searching for others. Concerned family members who know a person’s phone number (home, cell or work) or a complete home address can search for loved ones’ messages. Those without Internet access can call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) to register yourself and your family.

Read about the Red Cross response to Gustav and Tropical Storm Hanna at the Online Newsroom More information is available at