Final Post

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

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.


Preparedness Information: Focus on Post-Hurricane Safety

September 8, 2008

Post-hurricane Safety Tips

Overall Safety:

  • 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.

Generator Safety:

  • 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.

Heat safety:

  • 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

Media Alert: Ventura County, California

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.

Announcement: Register For Safe and Well

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
  • 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.

Audio: Houston Area Preparations

August 29, 2008
Houston Area Red Cross
Currently the Greater Houston Area Red Cross is working with other Red Cross Chapters within the State of Texas to identify which Red Cross shelter locations will be activated and what volunteers are available to staff shelters and other disaster relief functions in our area.
AmericanRedCrossHouston‘s Mobile post sent by AmericanRedCross using Utterz. reply-count Replies. mp3

What Exactly Is Red Cross Doing To Get Ready for Gustav?

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.

What to Put in Your Diaster Supplies Kit

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).

Addtional Information: