Press Release: Red Cross Urges Residents to Prepare for Possible Flooding


Recent Disaster Victims Receiving Needed Assistance 


Contact: Elizabeth Cajka; Office: (402) 343-7762; Cell: (402) 689-3683

OMAHA, NE (June 11, 2008 ) – As American Red Cross chapters in Nebraska and southwest Iowa are assisting individuals and families affected by the storms of the past two weeks, they are preparing for rainfall and potential storms forecast for this evening and overnight. The Red Cross shelter in Omaha, opened on Sunday at the LaVista Community Center, 8611 Parkview, remains on standby in the event that residents need to be evacuated from homes threatened by rising waters. The service center and bulk distribution site at the Heartland Chapter office at 2912 S. 80th Ave., will be open today from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. At the site, affected residents can meet directly with Red Cross volunteer caseworkers to discuss the possibility of additional assistance to meet disaster-caused emergency needs, and receive items such as shovels, rakes, garbage bags, gloves and clean-up kits to help in their recovery efforts. Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles continue to travel in affected neighborhoods in Millard today, supplying water, meals, and snacks. Affected residents who still need Red Cross help can also contact their local Red Cross chapter:

Heartland Chapter
2912 S. 80th Ave.
Omaha, NE 68124
(402) 343-7700

Loess Hills Chapter
535 W. Broadway, Suite 204
Council Bluffs, IA 51503
(712) 322-4017

In the event of a flood, the Red Cross provides these preparedness guidelines:

Know What to Expect
Know your area’s flood risk–if unsure, call your local Red Cross chapter, emergency management office, or planning and zoning department.
If it has been raining hard for several hours, or steadily raining for several days, be alert to the possibility of a flood.
Listen to local radio or TV stations for flood information.
Reduce Potential Flood Damage

Raise your furnace, water heater, and electric panel if they are in areas of your home that may be flooded.
Consult with a professional for further information if this and other damage reduction measures can be taken. Floods Can Take Several Hours to Days to Develop

A flood WATCH means a flood is possible in your area.
A flood WARNING means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.
Flash Floods Can Take Only a Few Minutes to a Few Hours to Develop

A flash flood WATCH means flash flooding is possible in your area.
A flash flood WARNING means a flash flood is occurring or will occur very soon.
Prepare a Family Disaster Plan

Check to see if you have insurance that covers flooding. If not, find out how to get flood insurance.
Keep insurance policies, documents, and other valuables in a safe-deposit box.
Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit

First aid kit and essential medications.
Canned food and can opener.
At least three gallons of water per person
Protective clothing, rainwear and bedding or sleeping bags.
Battery-powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries.
Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members.
Written instructions for how to turn off electricity, gas and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you’ll need a professional to turn them back on.)
Identify where you could go if told to evacuate. Choose several places . . . a friend’s home in another town, a motel, or a shelter.
When a Flood WATCH Is Issued . . .

Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.
Fill your car’s gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.

When a Flood WARNING Is Issued . . .

Listen to local radio and TV stations for information and advice. If told to evacuate, do so as soon as possible.
When a Flash Flood WATCH Is Issued . . .

Be alert to signs of flash flooding and be ready to evacuate on a moment’s notice.
When a Flash Flood WARNING Is Issued . . .

Or if you think it has already started, evacuate immediately. You may have only seconds to escape. Act quickly!
Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks and storm drains. Do not drive around barricades. They are there for your safety.
If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.
For more information about how you and your loved ones can prepare for severe weather, or if you are interested in learning more about how the Red Cross is helping victims of disasters throughout the Midwest, visit us at

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the Central U.S. floods and tornadoes, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster, please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, PO Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting


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