The East Coast of the United States recently experienced yet another major hurricane, but the American Red Cross continues to urge residents to take proper safety precautions, as the season is not yet over.
According to local Norfolk news affiliate 13 News Now, Virginia is one of the states that fell prey to the ill effects of Hurricane Joaquin — although the hurricane veered east of its projected path, meaning that East Coasters could have seen much more damaged.
“The most important thing residents can do is to make sure they’re prepared as well,” said Red Cross Executive Director Lorri Powers. “Now is the time to download the Red Cross Emergency App, finalize your evacuation plan, and listen to the advice of local authorities. If you’re asked to evacuate, please do so immediately.”
The Emergency App is a free app for smartphones that sends location-based weather alerts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
It boasts several new features including an “I’m Safe” button that sends an alert to loved ones to notify them that you’re OK, as well as tips on how to assemble an emergency kit in the event of a power outage.
The American Red Cross also urges those who live in hurricane-prone areas to prepare their home accordingly. While it may be too late for major renovations this season, metal roofing is recommended because of its ability to withstand winds of up to 140 MPH.
“The changing of the seasons brings storm systems that can affect us in many ways,” says Ray Farmer, President, American Metal Roofs of Northern WI. “One way to protect your home from these types of storms is by installing a permanent metal roof. Metal roofing is becoming the roofing material of choice to protect from storm damage and in areas of robust climate changes. With its ability to withstand very strong wind gusts and protect homes for decades, it is easily the best choice. If you don’t already have a metal roof on your home, now may be an ideal time to have one installed.”
Laura Steinmetz, Communications Director of American Red Cross NJ Region, assured residents that the Red Cross is always ready to help when storms threaten the Eastern Seaboard.
“We drill, we practice all the time,” she said. “We teach emergency preparedness and this is what we ask our communities to be ready for. The mission of the American Red Cross is to alleviate suffering in the face of emergencies.”
The American Red Cross recommends East Coast residents without internet access to call their local chapter for updates on the intensity and path of hurricanes.