The Red Cross prepares for hurricane season

Topics: Worldwide, Emergencies and Disasters Worldwide
June 09, 2014

The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November each year.  All it takes is one hurricane to cause severe damage, destruction and the potential loss of lives.  Hurricanes typically cause more widespread damage than tornadoes because they are bigger – some as large as 1,000 kilometres across. One of the most destructive effects of a hurricane is the storm surge, often causing serious flooding.

The Red Cross is dedicated to helping communities prepare for storms, floods and landslides.  Red Cross activities include emergency first aid courses, training in early warning systems, projects such as digging ditches and sandbagging hillsides and preparation of evacuation routes.

The Canadian Red Cross is always ready to respond to hurricane-affected areas.  Local networks of volunteers provide immediate life-saving help, and Canadians are on standby with a field hospital, should a disaster outstrip local communities’ ability to respond.

However, Hurricane preparedness is about more than planning and responding once a disaster hits. While the strong winds and rain can’t be avoided, the Canadian Red Cross is working to ensure people live in hurricane-resistant communities, so there’s no disaster to respond to in the first place.

Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the Canadian Red Cross provided 7,500 families with homes that exceed the standards for hurricane-force winds, and are designed and laid out in ways that reduce the potential of severe damage in a storm.  Disaster risk reduction is a critical component of hurricane preparedness, and the Canadian Red Cross is involved in work across the region to reduce the impact of storms and other natural hazards.

It is important that you have a plan in place for you and your loved ones to ensure you are safe should you be impacted by a hurricane.  Click here for information on what you should do before and during a hurricane.