Category Archives: Seattle Red Cross

An illustration of a man walking on a windy day from the medieval book Tacuinum Sanitatis

Prepare for wind and rain

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An illustration of a man walking on a windy day from the medieval book Tacuinum SanitatisStrong, damaging winds will buffet the Puget Sound Region tonight through midday Tuesday, the National Weather Service warns.

Winds are expected to be 15 to 30 mph, gusting to 45 mph.

In addition, with the winds will come heavy precipitation tonight and Tuesday with a second weather system expected to bring more rain Tuesday night and Wednesday, the Weather Service said.

The heavy rain may cause some minor flooding in the most “flood-prone rivers,” the Weather Service said.

Rivers facing the greatest threat for flooding include the:

  • Newaukum
  • Chehalis
  • Puyallup, near Orting
  • Snoqualmie
  • Stillaguamish

Be Prepared for Winter Storms: Tips from the Seattle Red Cross

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 of 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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Tips from the Red Cross for a safe 4th of July

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Tips from the Seattle Red Cross to keep your July 4th safe and enjoyable:

  • Make sure that exposed skin is covered with an appropriate sun block before heading out to the parade, family picnic or other outdoor activity.
  • Keep small children a safe distance from hot barbecue grills and outdoor fireplaces.
  • Never let children hold lit fireworks. Even sparklers can be dangerous for young children.
  • Plan to attend a professional fireworks display instead of creating your own.
  • Whether received from cooking at the grill or being careless with fireworks, burns should be treated immediately.
  • Stop the burning. Put out the flames or remove the victim from the source of the burn. For example, you may have to put out flames that have caught on to clothing.
  • Cool the burn. Use large amounts of water to cool the burned area. DO NOT use ice or ice water other than on small superficial burns; ice causes loss of body heat. Use whatever resources are available — tub, shower or garden hose. You can apply soaked towels, sheets or other wet cloths to a burned face or other areas that cannot be immersed. Be sure to keep cloths cool by adding more water.
  • Cover the burn. Use dry, sterile dressings or a clean cloth to cover a burn. Loosely bandage them in place. Covering the burn helps keep air out and reduces pain. Covering the burn also prevents infection. If the burn covers a large area of the body, cover it with clean, dry sheets or other cloth.
  • For minor burns and burns with open blisters that do not require medical care, wash the areas with soap and water. Keep it clean. Put on an antibiotic ointment (available from any drug store). Watch for signals of infection.
  • Critical burns need immediate medical attention. Call 9-1-1 if a burn victim is having difficulty breathing; more than one part of the body is burned; burns are on the head, neck, hands, feet or genitals; a child or an elderly person has been burned; or chemicals, electricity or explosions have caused burns.

NOTE: The Office of the State Fire Marshal has a listing of public fireworks displays where you can watch the pyrotechnics safely.

To learn more:

  • The American Red Cross offers many training sessions in First Aid and CPR.  For First Aid and CPR classes in King County, please call 206.726.3534 or visit our web site at www.seattleredcross.org.
  • In Kitsap County please call the West Sound Service Center at 360.377.3761.  For more information on Red Cross Chapters in Washington State please go to www.redcrosswashington.org.
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Red Cross safety tips for the cold and icy weather

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The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the Seattle area, with snow, gusts up to 45 miles per hour and night time lows in the mid- to low-20s.

To help you and your family to be prepared for the winter cold, the Seattle Red Cross has some cold weather tips:

Red Cross safety tips for the cold and icy weather

Exposure to cold can cause injury or serious illness such as frostbite or hypothermia. The likelihood of injury or illness depends on factors such as physical activity, clothing, wind, humidity, working and living conditions, and a person’s age and state of health. The American Red Cross offers these tips to stay safe in the cold weather:

  • Dress appropriately before going outdoors. The air temperature does not have to be below freezing for someone to experience cold emergencies such as hypothermia and frostbite. Wind speed can create dangerously cold conditions even when the temperature is not that low.
  • If possible, avoid being outside in the coldest part of the day, or for extended periods of time in extreme cold weather.
  • Dress in layers so you can adjust to changing conditions. Avoid overdressing or overexertion that can lead to illness.
  • Most of your body heat is lost through your head so wear a hat, preferably one that covers your ears.
  • Mittens provide more warmth to your hands than gloves.
  • Wear waterproof, insulated boots to help avoid hypothermia or frostbite by keeping your feet warm and dry and to maintain your footing in ice and snow.
  • Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.
  • Get out of wet clothes immediately and warm the core body temperature with a blanket or warm fluids like hot cider or soup. Avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol if you expect you or someone you are trying to help has hypothermia or frostbite.
  • Keep a winter storm survival kit in your car. This should include blankets, food, flares, chains, gloves and first aid supplies.
  • Prepare your vehicle. Winterize your car by taking it to a trusted mechanic, who will check things like the tires for appropriate pressure and tread, the cooling system, the battery, the wiper blades and washer fluid, etc.
  • During the winter months, make sure to keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines. Keep extra blankets in the trunk in the event that you are stranded and have to wait for help.

For more safety tips or to purchase a disaster kit for your home or vehicle, please visit www.seattleredcross.org or www.redcrosswashington.org.

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An illustration of a man walking on a windy day from the medieval book Tacuinum Sanitatis

Recent earthquake and windstorm reminders to be prepared–Red Cross

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An illustration of a man walking on a windy day from the medieval book Tacuinum SanitatisThe recent windstorm that caused widespread power outages and the 4.2 earthquake that rattled the south Puget Sound area should serve as reminders of the importance of being prepared for emergencies, the Red Cross says.

“The windstorm and earthquake are good reminders that some basic preparation and common-sense safety tips will help ensure safety during disasters like these,” said Susan Pelaez, director of preparedness and community engagement for the Red Cross.

“We know that there is more rain forecasted for Wednesday so it is important to prepare now .  This is also a good time to make sure that you have your disaster kit in place.”

Here are tips prepared by the Red Cross on preparing for high winds and possible power outages:

Prepare for High Winds

  • Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased and damaged limbs.
  • 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.

Top Safety Tips for a Power Outage

  • Assemble essential supplies, including: flashlight, batteries, portable radio, at least one gallon of water, and a small supply of food.  For more information about building or purchasing a disaster kit go to www.seattleredcross.org.
  • Only use a flashlight for emergency lighting. Due to the extreme risk of fire, do not use candles during a power outage.
  • Use the phone for emergencies only. Listening to a portable radio can provide the latest information. Do not call 9-1-1 for information – only call to report a life-threatening emergency.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If you use medication that requires refrigeration, most can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without a problem. If unsure, check with your physician or pharmacist.
  • Stay focused on the risks of smoke and carbon monoxide. Buy a carbon monoxide alarm if you do not already have one. They are available at most hardware stores. If you have one, check the battery to make sure it is working. If the alarm sounds: get to fresh air by going outside. Contact the fire department before you go back inside your home.

For more information about disaster education, workplace preparedness and emergency products please contact the Red Cross at www.seattleredcross.org or www.redcrosswashington.org.

The American Red Cross is a non-profit, humanitarian agency dedicated to helping make families and communities safer at home and around the world. For more information about emergency preparedness or Red Cross Chapters in Washington State, please visit www.redcrosswashington.org.

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Rain drops on a window

Flood safety tips from Seattle Red Cross

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Winter rains can bring flooding to the Northwest. Seattle Red Cross has these tips to help keep you and your family safe should flooding occur:

Rain drops on a window

  • Eighty percent of those 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 driving and your car stalls, abandon your vehicle and head to higher ground.
  • If you come upon flood waters or a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, STOP, turn around, and go another way. Never try to walk, swim, or drive through such swift water. If it is moving swiftly, even water six inches deep can sweep you off your feet. You may not be able to see on the surface how fast flood water is moving or see holes or submerged debris. Many people are swept away, resulting in injury or death.
  • Never play around high water, creek and stream banks, storm drains, ditches, ravines, or culverts in flooded and recently flooded areas. The soaked banks often become unstable due to heavy rainfall and can suddenly give way, tossing you into rapidly moving water. Flood waters may still be rising and it is very easy to be swept away. Stay away.
  • 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.
  • Regardless of how a flood or flash flood occurs, the rule for being safe is simple: Head for higher ground and stay away from flood waters. Even a shallow depth of fast-moving flood water produces more force than most people imagine. The most dangerous thing you can do is to try walking, swimming, or driving through flood waters.

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

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