October 1, 2008
This is the final post for the Hurricane Gustav Online Newsroom. While this is the last post on this site, information regarding the ongoing relief efforts for Hurricanes Gustav and Ike will continue to be populated at www.redcross.org/hurricaneike.
We would like to thank the hard working Red Crossers in the field who made this disaster operation, as well as this website, successful. To all those in the affected areas, we wish you a swift and complete recovery.
National media contacts: Please contact (202) 303-5551 for additional public affairs information.
Local media contacts: Please contact your local chapter for additional public affairs information.
For Red Cross assistance or for any other inquiries, please contact 1-800-RED-CROSS.
September 8, 2008
Post-hurricane Safety Tips
- Listen to the authorities – During a continued power outage, a battery-operated radio will help you stay on top of the local situation.
- Take basic supplies – You are likely to need a flashlight (no candles), trash bags, gloves and cleaning supplies. Stores may not be stocked, so if you find yourself in need of supplies, call the Red Cross hotline to find a distribution site in your area.
- Perimeter check – Check your home by walking around outside before entering. Look for loose power lines from the outside first and report them. If there are cracks around the foundation, contact a home construction professional to inspect the home.
- Check for gas – If you smell gas, leave your house or apartment building immediately and call the fire department or utility company.
- While power remains out, many people may consider using a portable generator to power their home or apartment.
- Under no circumstances should portable generators be used indoors, including inside a garage, carport, basement, crawlspace, or other enclosed or partially-enclosed area, even with ventilation.
- Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide (CO) buildup in the home. The CO from generators can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death, but CO cannot be seen or smelled. Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately.
- Food Safety:
- If your home lost power, all food in the refrigerator has spoiled. Discard all food from the refrigerator. Food in the freezer that still has ice on it may be usable, but if it has thawed or reached a temperature above 40 degrees, it must be discarded.
- Drink plenty of water – About eight glasses a day. (Drink bottled water until you know the water supply is safe).
- Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated drinks – They can dehydrate and make a person thirstier. For additional information on returning home after a hurricane or flood, visit your local Red Cross chapter or www.redcross.org.
August 30, 2008
The American Red Cross of Ventura County would like you to know what we have already done and are doing to pre-stage, pre-deploy and pre-position for Hurricane Gustav.
- Local Red Cross disaster volunteers will be serving in a leadership capacity at the Disaster Operations Center located in the National Headquarters in Washington DC. Albert Chan in Client Case work and Eleanor Guzik in support of individual health related needs.
- Jim and Carol Rogers, chapter volunteers extraordinaire, departed this morning in the Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) and will be deployed to critically affected areas to assist with the needs of the communities in the hurricanes path.
- Our Disaster Kitchen (ability to serve 5,000 meals per day) has been prepared in case it is deployed and it is only one of three in the entire country.
- If anyone would like to support Red Cross efforts in the disaster response, Red Cross will be holding training sessions next week so that you can volunteer to help. We will advise early next week when and where these classes will be held.
- 217,000 people will be evacuated and some of them may be arriving in our County. If you would like to be trained to support that effort, please also contact the Red Cross.
For immediate comments on this matter, please contact Chief Executive Officer, Chris Johnson at 805-585-9951.
For more information, call the American Red Cross of Ventura County at 805-339-2234.
August 30, 2008
As you evacuate, if you have one call to make before you leave home, call some one you love and tell them you are safe. Then, ask them to register you on Safe and Well.
- If you are affected by the storm, register on the Red Cross Safe and Well Website accessible at www.redcross.org.
- The Safe and Well Website allows those directly affected by a disaster to let their loved ones know of their well-being.
- For those that do not have internet access, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767) to register yourself and your family. Follow the prompts for disaster information.
- Concerned family members who know the person’s phone number (home, cell or work) or a complete home address can search for the messages posted by those who self-register.
August 29, 2008
Map indicating the pre-positioning of Red Cross resources:
Here’s a sample of what we’re pre-positioning:
- Moving nearly 200 mobile feeding trucks into Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
- Moving more than 100,000 cots
- Moving 200,000 blankets
- Moving tens of thousands of comfort kits and ready-to-eat meals.
- Supplies are being loaded onto 99 shelter support trailers to be dispersed throughout the region.
- Red Cross workers have been moving to the region yesterday and today.
Before landfall, Red Cross will be on the ground to help with shelters, food, and emotional support as evacuation orders are given.
August 29, 2008
Assemble a disaster supplies kit:
- First aid kit and medications.
- Canned food and can opener.
- At least three gallons of water per person.
- Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags.
- Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
- Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members.
- Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you’ll need a professional to turn them back on).
August 28, 2008
… Be Red Cross Ready. This checklist can help you prepare:
(Click the image to enlarge)
This PDF is also available in Spanish and French.
August 27, 2008
During a hurricane WATCH:
- Listen for weather updates and hurricane progress reports via crank or battery-operated radio or television. Be prepared to evacuate if local officials advise it.
- Get a crank or battery-operated radio, flashlight and extra batteries.
- Ensure your disaster supplies kit has the items you need, including a three-day supply of food and water (one gallon per person per day), first aid kit, medications, copies of important documents, cash and clothing.
- Fill vehicles with fuel.
- Bring in lawn furniture, bicycles, toys, hanging plants, trash cans, garden tools and anything else that can be picked up by the wind.
- Secure your home by closing all windows and doors and then hurricane shutters. If you don’t have shutters, board up windows and doors with plywood.
- Remove outside antennas if possible and if it can be done safely.
- Turn refrigerators and freezers to coldest setting. Open only when absolutely necessary and close quickly. This will allow perishable food to last longer during a power outage.
- Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container on the highest level of your home. Hurricanes can cause water damage inside homes.
- If you have a manufactured or mobile home, check tie-downs. They may be less affected by high winds if they are tied down according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
During a hurricane WARNING:
- Keep the radio or television on and listen for updates as the hurricane can change direction, speed and intensity quickly.
- If you are advised to leave your home, do so immediately and take your pets with you.
- If you are advised to remain at home, stay inside, away from windows, skylights and glass doors. Stay in an interior room without windows and with as many walls between you and the outside winds as possible.
- Secure external doors and close all interior doors. Closed doors will help prevent damaging winds from entering rooms.
- Fill bathtubs and sinks with water to use later to flush toilets and wash up.
- If power is lost, turn off appliances to reduce power surge when electricity is restored. Do NOT use open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light.
For More information on how to prepare for Gustav, please reference the following resources