DES MOINES, Iowa (KWQC) – Storm damage was reported in Fremont, Jones, Linn, and Marion Counties with disaster responders in each location working to provide care and comfort to displaced families. Disaster workers also provided drinks and food to 65 responders at the scene in Linn County.
On Thursday, June 29th, Red Cross disaster responders are in Prairieburg working with the Salvation Army to provide food to affected families. A Red Cross emergency response vehicle is driving through storm-damaged neighborhoods, delivering food, water, and clean-up supplies such as bleach, mops, gloves, rakes, and shovels.
As with any disaster, preparation can be the difference between life and death. The Red Cross recommends that individuals and families prepare for tornadoes by:
· Downloading the free Red Cross Tornado App to your mobile device. The Red Cross tornado app includes a high-pitched siren and warning alert that signals when a tornado warning has been issued, as well as an all-clear alert that lets users know when a tornado warning has expired or has been canceled. The app also includes tips on how assemble an emergency kit for your family in the event of a power outage or evacuation, an “I’m Safe” button to let loved ones know you are okay, and a real-time map to help you find the location of Red Cross shelters should you need to leave your home. The app has a Spanish language toggle switch and can be downloaded by visiting redcross.org/apps.
· Creating and practicing a home tornado plan. Pick a “safe room” or uncluttered area without windows where family members and pets could seek shelter on the lowest floor possible. The safest place to be is an underground shelter or basement. If no underground shelter or safe room is available, a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the safest alternative. Putting as many walls between you and the outside provides additional protection. Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes or other severe winds. Practice periodic tornado drills so that everyone knows what to do if a tornado is approaching.
· Assembling an emergency preparedness kit. Pack a first aid kit and a seven-day supply of essential medications, foods that don’t require cooking or refrigeration and manual can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries, copies of important documents like your insurance policies, cell phone chargers, family and emergency contact information, maps of the area and other emergency items for the whole family.
· Heeding storm warnings. Watch for tornado danger signs, including: dark, often greenish clouds (a phenomenon caused by hail), a wall cloud (an isolated lowering of the base of a thunderstorm), a cloud of debris, large hail, a funnel cloud (a visible rotating extension of the cloud base), or a roaring noise. Listen to your local radio and TV KWQC for updated storm information. A tornado WATCH means a tornado is possible in your area. When a tornado WARNING is issued, go to the safe room you picked to protect yourself from glass and other flying objects. If you are caught outdoors, seek shelter in a basement, shelter or sturdy building.
· Preparing for high winds. Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased and damaged limbs, then strategically removing branches so that wind can blow through. Install permanent shutters on your windows and add protection to the outside areas of sliding glass doors. Strengthen garage doors and unreinforced masonry. 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.
HOW YOU CAN HELP The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to fulfill its crucial mission. Help people affected by disasters like tornadoes and countless other crises by making a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief. These gifts enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Make a donation today by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 gift.