American Red Cross ready to respond if necessary

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)  "We do have disaster assessment teams available at the Red Cross anytime anything happens whether it's a fire, flood or anything else," said Sue Southard, at the Northeast Arkansas Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Southard says there are already teams scattered throughout the area.

"If we need to expand our horizon--we can do that with additional teams," said Southard.

The teams are determining if there's a need for shelters or other assistance due to dangerous flooding.

"It's a rapid response," said Southard.

Southard says if there is a need for shelters, they can be set up and ready to assist in just a couple of hours.

"This can happen anywhere," said Southard.

She adds, there are things people need to bring if possible.

"Especially their medicine, clothing, any special needs they may have," said Southard.

If flood waters force you to higher ground, Southard says you need to be prepared to evacuate at a moments notice.  That includes taking items like fresh water, non perishable food, a battery powered radio, and batteries.

It's also a good idea to keep copies of personal documents with you--things like birth certificates or pertinent medical information. Keep these documents in a plastic baggy to protect them from water.   While many of these documents can be replaced if their damaged or lost, it could save you some time.

"If they haven't done it already--definitely get it done today.   So that they're prepared for whatever transpires," said Southard.

Southard says they will disperse information through local media outlets, so stay close to a radio, TV, or computer for updates on when and if the Red Cross decides to open shelters somewhere in the area.

Other supplies you might need  include a first aid kit, multi purpose tool, sanitation and personal hygiene items, cell phone with chargers, emergency contact information, extra cash, emergency blanket, maps of the area, baby supplies, tools for securing your home, rain gear, insect repellent and sunscreen.

Copyright 2011KAIT. All rights reserved.