YAPHANK, N.Y., Sept. 3, 2010 – Governor David A. Paterson thanked American Red Cross volunteers Friday afternoon for their efforts to prepare Long Island for Hurricane Earl’s approach. At a press conference in the agency’s operations center, Paterson praised them,
“Not just for their response to this disaster but for all the months of work and training and preparedness that make it easy.”
The response on Long Island is being led by Robert Imbornoni, the chief response officer for the Metropolitan New York Chapters. Imbornoni credited the success of the effort to years of hard work and coordination between the local chapters. The disaster relief operation headquarters was established adjacent to the Suffolk County Chapter’s offices. Volunteers from throughout the region—Suffolk, Nassau County, and Greater New York—are leading the response with some volunteers coming from as far as Chicago.
And though most of Long Island seems to have dodged a bullet thanks to Earl shifting east, the Red Cross remains on the job. A shelter is open in Montauk, a small village located on the easternmost point of the island that is being pounded by heavy surf and rain. Coastal flooding remains a concern across the island as the storm passes.
“We will be here as long as we are needed,” stated Imbornoni.
At 5:00 a.m. EDT, the center of Hurricane Danielle was located approximately 545 miles southeast of Bermuda (735 miles northnortheast of Puerto Rico). Danielle is moving toward the northwest near 12 mph. A gradual turn toward the north-northwest is expected by tonight followed by a turn toward the north on Saturday. On the forecast track, the center of Danielle is expected to pass well east of Bermuda Saturday night. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 135 mph, with higher gusts. Danielle is a Category Four Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Some additional strengthening is possible in the next 24 hours. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 205 miles.
At 5:00 a.m. EDT, the center of Hurricane Frank was located about 330 miles south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California. Frank is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph. A turn toward the northwest and a gradual decrease in forward speed are expected today followed by a turn to the north this weekend. Maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph, with higher gusts. Frank is a Category One Hurricane on the Saffir- Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Weakening is expected during the next couple of days as Frank moves over cooler waters. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 15 miles from the center, and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 80 miles.
Tropical Storm Earl
At 5:00 a.m. EDT, the center of Tropical Storm Earl was located approximately 1,430 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands (1,640 miles east of Puerto Rico). Earl is moving toward the west near 17 mph and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. Maximum sustained winds remain near 45 mph, with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is expected over the next 48 hours and Earl is forecast to become a hurricane by Saturday night. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 85 miles from the center.
While Tropical Storm Danielle strengthened rather quickly overnight, a new tropical wave has rolled off the coast of Africa. For now, forecasters give the disturbance a 10 percent chance of developing over the next two days.
Danielle, meanwhile, could become a hurricane as early as Monday night. The forecast track continues to keep the storm well to the east of the U.S. coastline and possibly Bermuda as well.
As of 8 a.m., Danielle was in the Atlantic 850 miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands, moving northwest at 14 mph with sustained winds of 60 mph.
Here’s the latest update from our own Court Ogilvie in the Disaster Operations Center in Washington, DC.
Be prepared for flooding before, during, and after the storm:
Red Cross Urges Families and Communities to Prepare During Swine Flu Outbreak
Washing Hands, Recognizing Symptoms Key to Prevent Spread
WASHINGTON, Wednesday, April 29, 2009- Washing hands and paying close attention to symptoms of illness are just some of the things the public can to do help reduce the risk from the swine flu (H1N1) outbreak, the American Red Cross said today. “This is a serious situation that has the potential to spread, and it is a good time for families, businesses and organizations to follow good public health practices and to review and update their preparedness plans,” said Scott Conner, Senior Vice President of Preparedness and Health & Safety Services at the American Red Cross. “Taking steps to prepare for potential emergencies in advance can go a long way in making families feel safer.”
The American Red Cross urges the public to remember these simple actions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol- based hand sanitizers are also effective when soap and water aren’t available.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home if you are feeling sick.
Children have been greatly impacted by this outbreak, and need to know how to properly wash their hands to prevent the spread of germs. The Red Cross has partnered with NSF International’s (NSF) Scrub Club® to educate children about the importance of hand washing to protect them against influenza. The Scrub Club Web site (www.scrubclub.org) is an easy, online tool to teach kids how to wash their hands and why it’s important. If families are asked to stay home during this outbreak, it’s important to have a plan and supplies in place before that happens. The Red Cross recommends:
- Stock extra food, water and supplies at home to reduce the need to go out should swine flu become more widespread, limiting potential for exposure to the virus.
- Be sure to include household necessities such as laundry detergent, toilet paper, etc. Select foods that are easy to prepare and store.
- Make sure you have an adequate supply of essential medications and medical items for all family members.
- Include non-prescription medications as well.
Other preparedness steps that can be taken include:
- Plan for what you would do if you had to stay at home for a period of time.
- Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick.
- Find out your employer’s plans to keep the business open if key staff can’t come to work.
- Ask your child’s school or day care if there are plans to encourage sick children to stay home to reduce the spread of the disease.
- Identify how you can get information, whether through local radio, TV, internet or other sources.
For more tips on how to prepare yourself, your family and community for this and other potential emergencies, visit www.redcross.org.
(Editorial note: Call (202) 303-5551 to speak with an American Red Cross subject matter expert)
The Centers for Disease Control is advising people to prepare for Swine flu (H1N1):
- For more information on Swine Flu (H1N1), visit the CDC information page on the Swine flu (H1N1) or call 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636).
Here are some tips if you are evacuating:
- Wear protective clothing–sturdy shoes, cotton or woolen clothing, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves, and a handkerchief to protect your face.
- Take your pets. The American Red Cross cannot accept pets in shelters due to FDA regulations; however the Red Cross has partnered with local animal hospitals and rescue organizations to make arrangement for pets. There is limited space for evacuees’ pets at either the Murrells Inlet Veterinary Hospital at 843-651-3355 or the Saint Frances Animal Hospital at 843-249-1988.
- Take your Disaster Supplies Kit.
- Lock your home.
- Tell someone when you left and where you are going. Also, register on the Red Cross website, Safe and Well.
- Choose a route away from fire hazards. Watch for changes in the speed and direction of fire and smoke.