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Red Cross urges residents to prepare for potential high winds, flooding

 

SEATTLE, Nov. 21 — With high winds, heavy rain and potential flooding predicted this week for the Puget Sound area, the American Red Cross reminds residents to prepare.

 

Wind Storms

 

· Move or secure lawn furniture, outdoor decorations or ornaments, trash cans, hanging plants and anything else that can be picked up by wind and become a projectile.

· During the storm, draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects blown by the wind, the shades will prevent glass from shattering into your home.

· Wind storms may lead to power outages. Prepare accordingly:

-- Assemble essential supplies, including a flashlight, batteries, portable radio, at least one gallon of water per person per day and a small supply of food. For more information about building or purchasing a disaster kit, visit www.seattleredcross.org.

-- Do not run a generator inside a home or garage. If you use a generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a generator to a home's electrical system.

-- Never use charcoal or gas grills as an indoor heating or cooking source.

-- Only use a flashlight for emergency lighting. Due to the extreme risk of fire, do not use candles during a power outage.

-- Turn off electrical equipment you were using when the power went out. Leave one light on so you know when the power comes back on.

-- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. First use perishable food from the refrigerator. An unopened refrigerator will keep foods cold for about 4 hours.

 

Floods

· Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.

· Eighty-percent people who die as a result of flooding are in vehicles. If you come upon a barricade, turn around and go another way. If you come upon flood waters, do not drive through them; the road could be washed out underneath. 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.

· If you are driving and your car stalls, abandon your vehicle and head to higher ground.

· Stay away from floodwaters. 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 of your feet.

· Be aware of flood hazards. Floods can roll boulders, tear out trees, destroy buildings and bridges, and scour out new channels. Flood waters can reach heights of 10 to 20 feet and often carry a deadly cargo of debris. Flood-producing rains can also trigger catastrophic debris slides.

 

For more safety tips and information on flooding please visit www.seattleredcross.org or www.redcrosswashington.org.

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