Thursday, June 27, 2013

Heavy rains expected to soak already saturated ground 
June 27, 2013 -- The American Red Cross of Vermont & the New Hampshire Upper Valley is urging people to be alert and take steps in advance of the heavy rain expected over the next 24-hours.  A few steps taken before, during and after potential flooding will help ensure people weather the storm safely.  The Red Cross is heeding its own advice as it takes steps to prepare for a potential response to anticipated flooding. 

Already saturated ground that is expected to receive significant rain in the coming days creates a potential need in communities across the region.  The steps being taken by the American Red Cross of the Vermont & the New Hampshire Upper Valley to ready itself include: 

  • Red Cross volunteers have been asked to advise of their availability through the weekend; more than 60 have already responded
  • Vehicles and equipment are being readied
  • Outreach has begun to potential shelter sites
  • Lines of communication are open with State and local emergency planners
  • Red Cross disaster services workers are being lined up to staff the State Emergency Operations Center
As conditions warrant, the Red Cross will look to open shelters to serve communities that may be hard hit by the anticipated severe weather.  Additional services to impacted towns will be assessed in consultation with local and state officials. 

While the Red Cross, locally, is hard at work to ensure it is prepared should the need for its service arise, the organization is urging individuals to take steps to prepare for the potential for rapidly rising water along streams, rivers and in low-lying areas.  The Red Cross suggests: 

  • Before -- Ensure that you have available and ready to go items that you may need if you must evacuate your home.  This includes everything from a flashlight, to a fully-charged cell phone, baby and pet supplies, medications and more.
  • During -- Stay informed and safe during a flooding event by ensuring you have a crank or battery-powered radio; head to higher ground as warranted; stay away from flooded roads while driving; and keep curious children away from flood waters.  Just six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep a person off their feet and a car can be swept away in less than two feet of water.
  • After -- Only return home after it has been declared safe; look for and avoid downed power lines; wear protective gear (gloves, boots, mask) during clean up; and ensure your water supply is safe.
A great deal more preparedness information is available at  The Red Cross strongly encourages people to go to this site, take the time to review their safety plan, create an emergency kit for their home and car and to stay informed before, during and after storms.  To put much of this helpful information right at your fingertips, the Red Cross also encourages people to download its free First Aid and other preparedness apps from the iTunes Store or Google Play for Android users.