Stormy Weekend Ahead for East Coast ─ Get Ready Now

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A storm system is headed for the East Coast this weekend, bringing strong winds, heavy rain, possible flooding and the threat of a dangerous storm surge to millions of people from the Carolinas through the Mid-Atlantic states north to New England.

Though not yet named, the system is expected to grow stronger. Tropical storm conditions will reach North Carolina tonight, hitting Virginia and the Delmarva Peninsula Saturday, stretching north to New England. Some areas could as much as 7 inches of rain, which will stretch hundreds of miles from the center of the storm, accompanied by strong winds and a dangerous storm surge.

The storm could lead to flooding and even tornadoes in the impacted areas. Eastern North Carolina and southeast Virginia face the greatest risk of flooding. Tropical storm warnings are out from North Carolina to Delaware and Maryland’s coastal region.

The American Red Cross is closely monitoring the storm and urges everyone in its potential path to monitor their local weather and be prepared for this storm.

YOU CAN HELP people affected by disasters like storms, wildfires and countless other crises by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Blood donations are also critically important to ensure patient needs are met. Financial contributions enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

IF YOU ARE IN THE STORM’S PATH: It’s critical to listen to the advice of local authorities and evacuate immediately if asked to do so. Tune into your local radio, NOAA radio or news channel for the latest updates. We encourage safety and being out of harm’s way above all.

It’s also important to know the difference between a watch and a warning. A watch means conditions are likely and to stay alert — a warning means act now.

Download the free Emergency app for instant access to full weather alerts, help preparing for emergency situations and locations of open Red Cross shelters. Content can be viewed in English or Spanish and is accessible for people with disabilities. Red Cross apps are available in the app store as well as on redcross.org/apps.

FLOODING SAFETY Turn around, don’t drown. Stay off the roads. If you must drive and encounter a flooded roadway while driving, turn around and go another way. 

If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, be prepared to evacuate quickly if necessary. Follow evacuation routes and do not try to take shortcuts because they may be blocked. 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. 

Head for higher ground and stay there. Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to see flood danger.

THE POWER IS OUT Use flashlights in the dark — not candles. Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment and appliances. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment. Leave one light on, so you’ll know when power is restored.

During a prolonged outage, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to protect your food. Use perishable food from the refrigerator first, then, food from the freezer. If the power outage continues beyond a day, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items. Keep food in a dry, cool spot and cover it at all times.

IF YOU ARE USING A GENERATOR, keep it dry and don’t use it in wet conditions. Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning device inside a home, garage, basement or other partially enclosed area. Keep this equipment outside and away from doors, windows and vents, which could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

Source: American Red Cross