Red Cross Preparations Underway as Hurricane Irene Heads Towards the East Coast

August 24, 2011

August 24, 2011 – Hurricane Irene is expected to make landfall along the eastern shores later this week with winds gusting as high as 150 mph, and the American Red Cross is getting ready for a full East Coast response by preparing shelters for evacuees, pre-positioning numerous emergency response vehicles and disaster supplies, and mobilizing disaster workers to parts of the country expected to see impact from this large storm.

“This storm is getting stronger as it moves towards the East Coast. While southwest Virginia is not in the direct line of Hurricane Irene, we must still prepare for its aftermath,” says Amy Whittaker, Red Cross Regional Public Affairs Director. “Approximately 60 volunteers and two Emergency Response Vehicles are on stand-by and ready to respond should severe weather affect residents of Virginia. We’re also prepared to help those in neighboring states.”

Hurricane season comes on the heels of what was a busy spring for the Red Cross with 46 relief operations across 31 states helping people affected by devastating floods, tornadoes and wildfires. The Red Cross recommends three quick steps to take now to be prepared for any type of emergency – build a kit, make a plan and be informed. To learn more about disaster preparedness, visit “If community organizations or businesses need help making their plan, please call us and we will be happy to give you a preparedness presentation,” Whittaker says.

American Red Cross disaster preparedness starts long before a hurricane makes landfall, beginning with keeping supplies and equipment on stand by all year to help people in need. On average, the Red Cross spends about $450 million on disaster relief every year. If you would like to support Red Cross disaster efforts, you can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS, texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation, or sending contributions to your local American Red Cross.