Red Cross prepares response to winter storm

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- As the first winter storm makes its way to Region 8, the Red Cross is preparing for all emergencysituations.

"The RedCross is ready for this winter weather event we're going to have, whether it'ssnow or sleet or ice," said Disaster Manager, Jody Carter with the Red Cross of Northeast Arkansas.

He saidthey are preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.

"We haveshelters that have been pre-identified and preplanned to be open as emergencyshelters if needed," Carter said. "We havevolunteers on standby waiting and ready to be deployed to those shelties."

"We've gotshelter trailers full of equipment pre staged all across Northeast Arkansas," Carter said.

Carter saidonce the storm hits they will reach out to emergency management officials tosee where they should open shelter.

"It will bebased on need if folks are displaced and need a place to go then we're going towork with those communities to identify where those best places will be," he said.

He says rightnow is the time for everyone to get ready.

"Make sure you've got water, a gallon of waterper person per day and plan for 7 days," he said. "Food foreverybody including your pets for 7 days."

"Prescriptionmedications," Carter said. " Make sure your weather radio has batteries, your flashlight hasbatteries and gas up those generators."

Once thestorm hits, Carter said they focus on mass care first.

"Open shelters,make food available , work with government partners to see what other needs arepresent in the community," he said.

In additionto winter weather preparedness, Carter advises that people also keep firesafety in mind.

"When theweather gets cold, people start finding ways to heat their home and we will seea spike in home fires," Carter said.

Carter said your emergencykit should include: noaa radio with batteries, flashlight with batteries, food for the whole family and pets for 7 days, water (a gallon per person per day), medication, and fuel for your vehicles.

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