The American Red Cross serving Greater Iowa is responding to local flooding across the state. Trained Red Cross disaster relief workers are providing aid in the form of shelter, clothing, cleanup kits and water in Johnson, Washington, Polk, Jefferson and Keokuk counties. Red Cross volunteers in Iowa work hard every day to provide relief for those whose lives have been torn apart by disasters like flooding.
The Red Cross is also in constant communication with local emergency management officials to prepare for a response if additional flooding occurs.
In addition to helping after a disaster, the Red Cross urges communities to prepare before disaster strikes so that families can learn ways to stay safe when facing seasonal flooding.
The Red Cross recommends individuals download its free First Aid and Tornado Apps for smartphones and tablets. The First Aid app features expert preparedness information for several situations, including flooding. The Tornado app features live NOAA weather radio information and location-based shelter information for when you need it most. The apps are free and available for iPhone and Android users. Find the apps in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. For more information go to www.redcross.org/mobileapps.
Also, taking a few moments to discuss these simple, common-sense preparedness steps with your family can save your life and the lives of the ones you love:
• Creating and practicing a Disaster Plan: Talk to everyone in your household about what to do if a flood occurs. Decide where you would meet and who you would contact in case of flooding. Assemble and maintain an emergency preparedness kit. Be prepared to evacuate your family and pets at a moment’s notice. Listen to area radio and television stations for possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress.
• Assembling an Emergency Preparedness Kit: Kits should contain a first aid kit and essential medications, foods that don’t require cooking or refrigeration and manual can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries and other emergency items for the whole family.
• Heeding Flood Warnings: Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated flood information. A flood “watch” means flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area. A flood “warning” means flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for you area, head for higher ground and stay there.
• Relocating During Flood Warnings: Stay away from flood waters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankle, stop, turn around and go another way. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
For more information on flood preparedness, visit the American Red Cross at any of its 10 locations across Iowa, or at www.redcross.org/ia.