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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: https://disastersafe.redcross.org/ 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 http://www.saredcross.org. 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 http://www.saredcross.org 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 www.saredcross.org