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American Red Cross commits $200,000 in Relief and Support to Central America

 Assistance will aid flood-ravaged communities throughout the region

 WASHINGTON, DC, Wednesday, October 26, 2011óThe American Red Cross is committing $200,000 in relief supplies and other support to assist Red Cross operations in Central America, where pounding rains have caused widespread flooding and landslides. 

The relief supplies and support will target El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, three countries particularly affected by the rains. In addition, the American Red Cross has deployed two disaster specialists to assist with response activities in El Salvador and Honduras.  

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American Red Cross urges caution as
Tropical Depression 3 forms near the Bahamas

Depression could become Tropical Storm Bonnie 

Miami, FL (July 22, 2010) ó The National Hurricane Center has issued a Tropical Storm Warning from Miami-Dade County south to the Florida Keys. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Broward County. Forecasters expect weather conditions to deteriorate by Friday when rainfall of two to four inches and isolated maximums of five to six inches are possible.  

Storm surge will raise water levels by as much as one to two feet above ground level over portions of the Florida Keys. 

A Tropical Storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area within 36 hours. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.  

The American Red Cross encourages everyone in South Florida to follow these safety tips: 

         Check your home emergency kit to make sure you have enough food, water and supplies for you, your family and your pets for at least the next three days.

         Listen to your local radio and television news reports and NOAA Weather Radio for more information regarding the Tropical Storm and possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in your area.

         If ordered to evacuate, do so.

         Stay away from flood waters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off your feet.

         If you come across 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. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

         Keep children out of the water.

         Be especially careful at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

         Because standard homeowners insurance doesnít cover flooding, itís important to have protection from floods associated with hurricanes and tropical storms. For more information, visit www.floodsmart.gov.

 After the Storm 

         If you left your home, return only after officials say itís safe.

         Before entering your home look for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damage.

         If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.

         If power lines are down around your house, do not step in puddles or standing water

         Parts of your home may be damaged or collapsed. Approach entrances carefully. See if porch roofs or overhangs have all their supports in place.

         Watch out for wild animals, including poisonous snakes that may have come into your home with the floodwaters.

         Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.

         During cleanup, wear protective clothing including rubber gloves and rubber boots.

         Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!

         Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.

         Contact your local or state health department for specific recommendations on boiling water.



Red Cross offers Water Safety tips
As the weather warms up, people hit the beach, lakes and pools 

Miami, FL (April 14, 2010) Ė The warm weather is finally back in South Florida and many families are going outdoors for pool, lake and beach fun. But a good time can turn into tragedy in a matter of seconds. According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of accidental deaths in children, 5 years old and younger, in the United States.  The good news is that most water tragedies can be prevented. The American Red Cross wants you to be safe whether youíre the parent of a child or just a child at heart. Be sure to follow these safety tips when near the water.  

  • Learn to swim well.  One of the best things anyone can do to stay safe near the water is learn to swim.  No one, including adults should ever swim alone. To find a Learn to Swim class near you visit www.southfloridaprepares.org
  • Outfit everyone with the proper gear.  Kids Ė and even adults Ė who are not strong swimmers or who appear to rely on inflatable toys for safety should use personal flotation devices whenever they are in or around the water or when boating.
  • Always keep basic lifesaving equipment by the residential pool and know how to use it.  A first-aid kit, cordless phone, phone list with emergency contact information, reaching pole and ring buoy with a line attached are recommended.  In addition, the Red Cross recommends that pools be surrounded by a fence that is at least four feet high with a self-closing, self-locking gate locks.
  • Swim in supervised areas only
  • Obey "No Diving" signs
  • Watch out for the "dangerous too's." Take a break at the point of being too tired, too cold, or too far from safety, too much sun, too little hydration, too much strenuous activity.
  • Donít mix alcohol and swimming.  Alcohol impairs your judgment, balance, and coordination, affects your swimming and diving skills and reduces your body's ability to stay warm.
  • Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts. Stop swimming at the first indication of bad weather.
  • Learn Red Cross first-aid and CPR.  While the above tips can help prevent emergencies, it is important to know what to do if a situation arises. To register for a first-aid or CPR course visit www.southfloridaprepares.org.

About the American Red Cross
For nearly a century, the American Red Cross South Florida Region, a non-profit humanitarian organization, has helped families and individuals prevent, prepare for, and respond to disasters. The American Red Cross South Florida Region offers health and safety programs, and international, disaster relief and armed forces emergency services to the residents of Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. For more information, visit www.southfloridaredcross.org or www.tucruzroja.org.  

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