Red Cross urges South Mississippians to prepare for hurricane se - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Red Cross urges South Mississippians to prepare for hurricane season

As the Red Cross prepares, McFarland is also urging South Mississippians get ready now. (Photo source: WLOX) As the Red Cross prepares, McFarland is also urging South Mississippians get ready now. (Photo source: WLOX)
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - The Red Cross is ready for hurricane season and wants to make sure South Mississippians are also prepared for when disaster strikes. The new executive director of the Southeast Mississippi Chapter shared some preparation tips and also made a public plea for support.

John McFarland and his Red Cross staff have been fully equipping themselves to handle whatever Mother Nature may blow this way over the next few months.

“We are making sure we have all the materials and everything we need and reviewing our plans and working with county and state officials. One of the things that we are doing a lot of right now is recruiting and training volunteers,” said McFarland.

Right now, there are around 1,900 trained volunteers in the state. McFarland wants to see that number increase.

“We always need trained people to manage shelters, to do damage assessment, to do case work, to drive vehicles,” McFarland.

As the Red Cross prepares, McFarland is also urging South Mississippians get ready now.

“It is part of our job to make sure people are ready for the storm, and once the storm hits, then our people will be on the ground to help them recover,” said McFarland.

The Red Cross even provides people with a safety checklist. It tells you what you should do before, during and after a hurricane.

“Here are some of the basic materials you need: Toothbrush, toothpaste, having some cash, having the batteries and the portable radios, three or four days of food that doesn't need to be cooked,” said McFarland.

For smart phone users, Red Cross has free apps that offer disaster preparedness tips and much more.

“The nice thing about the app is if we had a storm now and you get an alert, and as soon as shelters are open, it can show where the nearest shelters are to you,” said McFarland.

He says the best protection is preparation, and hopefully communities will do just that this hurricane season.

“It only takes one, and if this is where that one comes, your preparation needs to be ready.”

If you would like to volunteer or donate to the Red Cross, call the Gulfport office at 228-896-4511.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.
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