*Guest entry by Gina Holmes, Public Affairs team, Ottawa

Pictured above is 3 month old Jennifer Suarez along with her mom Natallie Suarez and grandmother Anna Gonzalez.  All three of them are evacuees staying at one of the shelters that were opened by the American Red Cross following the flooding that was caused by Tropical Storm Debby.

The Red Cross is providing emergency relief to those affected by the massive flooding in Florida. The storm has brought as much as ten inches of rain to the state and even up to 25 inches in some areas. The Red Cross has delivered more than 32,000 meals and distributed more than 4,300 relief items.

In preparation for the upcoming hurricane season, the following tips will protect, prepare and aid you in the event that a hurricane strikes your community.

  • Check your disaster supplies and replace or restock as needed.
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind.
  • Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.
  • Fill your car up with a full tank of gas.
  • Talk with your family and prepare an evacuation plan. Practice this plan consistently in order to avoid confusion and chaos in the midst of evacuation.
  • Create copies of personal documents such as birth certificates, passports and driver’s licenses.
  • Keep extra cash on you. If the power is out for a significant amount of time you will not have access to bank machines.
  • Have at least a three day supply of food and water. The food should be non-perishable and easy to prepare.

 For more tips on how you and your family can be prepared during hurricane season visit: www.redcross.ca