Wyoming Red Cross gives reminder on flood preparedness

Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 5:55 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - After historic flooding in Yellowstone, the Wyoming Red Cross is prepared to provide support and aid if they are called on to help. In the meantime, they are offering up tips for flood preparedness.

“Get ready have a preparedness kit and be informed sign up for your local county emergency alerts so you get notifications,” said Red Cross of CO & WY Regional Communications Director Catie Ballenger.

The Red Cross encourages people to learn about their community’s flood plan, and find out if their community has a flood warning system. Households should have a plan for floods and practice it.

Right before a flood, the Red Cross encourages people to know the difference between a flood watch and a flood warning. A watch means that flooding is possible in an area, whereas a warning means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon. Whether in a flood watch or warning, it is important to be prepared to evacuate quickly and be aware of available routes to reach your destination. This is the time to get your emergency kit out, check it, and replenish supplies if needed.

“Don’t forget your prescription medicines, clothes, important documents, IDs, pet information... just anything you might need to tide you over for a couple of days,” said Ballenger.

The Red Cross encourages pet owners to consider a precautionary evacuation of animals, particularly if there are large animals or a high number of pets. If moving animals with a trailer, move sooner rather than later. They encourage people to bring their pets indoors and keep direct control of them and have a pet emergency kit ready in case of evacuation.

During a flood, it is important to follow directions provided by authorities. Move to higher ground, and evacuate if directed but do not walk or drive through flood waters.

“Stay away from flood water. If you have to drive and you encounter a roadway that’s flooded turn around, it’s not worth risking it,” said Ballenger.

The Wyoming Red Cross has volunteers trained and prepared to respond to a variety of emergencies. To sign up as a volunteer with the Red Cross, click here.

“During a disaster like the floods that are happening at Yellowstone, we set up a shelter so people have a safe, dry, warm place to stay. We provide hot meals, care, and comfort. We have mental health workers that can come in. We have health workers that can come in... we just try to give you the support you need and the hug that you need,” said Ballenger.

The American Red Cross has a mobile app that provides emergency alerts, shelter locations, and safety tips. For more information about the American Red Cross click here.

The Red Cross of Wyoming is prepared to set up shelters, offer food to evacuees and first responders, and set up case workers with evacuees if they are called on to help with the Yellowstone River flooding.

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