(WTVM) - The Red Cross in Georgia is getting ready to respond as powerful Hurricane Irma nears the Southeast.
Sheltering plans are being closely coordinated with local emergency officials and dozens of partner organizations that can support relief efforts.
As millions of Georgians face evacuation orders, seven shelters are already open with more evacuation shelters set to open today and throughout the weekend.
- style="background:white;">Delores A. Brooks Recreation Center (formerly known as the East Macon Recreation Center)
- style="background:white;">North Macon Park Community Center
- style="background:white;">Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church
- Columbus Civic Center
- CrossPointe Church
- style="background:white;">Westside High School: open at 8 p.m.
- Pierce Chapel United Methodist Church (Please call before coming at 706-464-6231)
5122 Pierce Chapel Rd. Columbus, GA 31820
People in the path of this storm need to finalize their preparations today:
HURRICANE SAFETY STEPS
- Know the difference between a Hurricane Watch and a Hurricane Warning.
- A Hurricane Watch means conditions are a threat within 48 hours. Review your hurricane plans. Get ready to act if a warning is issued, and stay informed.
- A Hurricane Warning means conditions are expected within 36 hours. Complete your storm preparations and leave the area if directed to do so by authorities.
- Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings: Take these alerts seriously. They often bring life-threatening flooding and dangerous winds.
- Listen to local radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates and obey any evacuation orders from local officials.
- style="vertical-align: baseline;">Be prepared to evacuate quickly. You can find shelters by visiting redcross.org or by downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App.
- style="vertical-align: baseline;">Fill your car's gas tank in case an evacuation notice is issued.
- style="vertical-align: baseline;">Build an emergency kit that contains supplies for about three days, to include a gallon of water per person per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight and extra batteries, a first aid kit, medications and copies of important documents. Remember items for young children such as diapers and family members with special medical needs.
- style="vertical-align: baseline;">Create an evacuation plan for your household. Learn about how your community responds to hurricanes and plan routes to local shelters. If you already have a disaster kit, replenish any items missing or in short supply, especially medications or other medical supplies.
- style="vertical-align:baseline;">Don’t forget your pets. Bring them indoors and maintain direct control of them. Prepare an emergency kit for your pets, including sturdy leashes or pet carriers, food and water, bowls, cat litter and pan and photos of you with your pet in case they get lost. Additional pet safety tips are available.
- style="vertical-align:baseline;">You should also download the free Red Cross Emergency App to have real time information about the storm, shelter locations and hurricane safety tips at your fingertips. The Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.