Richmond Co. prepares as TS Karen moves closer

Richmond Co. prepares as TS Karen moves closer

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - With tropical storm Karen predicted to hit the CSRA soon, Richmond County EMA is already getting prepared.

"Anytime there is a storm that forms close to the states or close to the coast, we go ahead and start monitoring conditions, so that we are aware of what our potential affects are," said Mie Lucas, Disaster Preparedness Coordinator for Richmond County.

She said being in touch with those who understand weather is key.

"We talk with meteorologists regularly. If there's an event coming, I've been messaging them today, finding what the changes are to our conditions and what's the positional for hazardous weather for our area," Lucas said.

Right now, forecasts are predicting heavy rain but that can change.

"We may see lesser of an effect from Karen unless that storm starts to strengthen, which there is a potential for."

This potential is why the EMA is urging people to get prepared, by putting together hurricane and tornadoes kits that include things you'll need, like a weather radio.

They will also send out alerts in case Karen grows stronger.

"We send out information through our emergency notification system. We also have our facebook page, our twitter account - so we're trying to cover all areas of media to let people know if they're in danger."

SOURCE American Humane Association

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With Tropical Storm Karen threatening the Southeastern United States, and a possible severe weather outbreak in the central states predicted for today, the experts at American Humane Association and their Red Star™ emergency rescue program, are issuing key tips to help you keep yourself, your family and your animals safe – before, during and after a storm.


Before the storm

  • NEVER leave animals behind. Review your evacuation plans and know a safe place where your pets can go if you need to evacuate. Evacuation destinations may include a friend or family member's home, going to a pet-friendly hotel, or temporarily housing your pet(s) at a boarding facility. Plan multiple routes to your safe destination.
  • Microchip your pets and properly affix a tag on your pet's collar with your name, address and cell phone number so they may be returned quickly in case you are separated from your pets.
  • Update your microchip registrations and pet license information to ensure its current and consider including the name and contact information of an out-of-area contact just in case you are unreachable in a disaster zone.
  • Tie down or anchor outside objects that might fly about and injure someone.
  • Double-check your disaster preparedness kit for your pets (i.e. First Aid kit, leashes, and pets' carrying cases, bowls, sanitation materials, chew toy, minimum 3 days, ideally 7-10 days of food, meds, water).
  • Evacuate your family and pets as early as you can and remember to take your family and your pet's disaster preparedness kit if you do leave.
  • Bring children and pets inside; bring outdoor animals inside with a carrier ready large enough to turn around and lie down comfortably.
  • Have a carrier and leashes at the ready.
  • If your family must evacuate, ALWAYS take your pets with you.

During the storm….if you cannot evacuate

  • Choose a safe room for riding out the storm-an interior room without windows – and take your entire family there, including your pets.
  • Stay with pets. If crated, they depend on you for food and water.
  • Keep your emergency kit in that room with you (food, water, litter, meds).
  • Know your pet's hiding places. That's where they may run; keep them with you.
  • Secure exits and cat doors so pets can't escape into the storm.
  • Do not tranquilize your pets. They'll need their survival instincts should the storm require that.

After the storm

  • Make sure the storm has fully passed before going outside and assess damages before allowing children or animals out.
  • Keep dogs on a leash and cats in a carrier, and children close at hand. Displaced objects and fallen trees can disorient pets and sharp debris could harm them.
  • Give pets time to become re-oriented. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and cause a pet to become confused or lost.
  • Keep kids and animals away from hazards such as downed power lines and water that may be contaminated.
  • Keep an eye on children's emotional reaction to the crisis. Talk to children – and just as important – listen to them. Reassure them frequently that you, local officials, and their communities are all working to keep them safe and return life back to normal. Watch for symptoms of stress, including clinginess, stomachaches, headaches, nightmares, trouble eating or sleeping, or changes in behavior. If you are concerned about the way your children are responding long after the crisis is over, consult your doctor, school counselor or local mental health professional.
  • Uncertainty and change in the environment affect animals, too, presenting new stresses and dangers. Your pet's behavior may change after a crisis, becoming more aggressive or self-protective. Be sensitive to these changes and keep more room between them, other animals, children or strangers. Animals need comforting, too. Comfort your pet with kind words and lots of pats or hugs. If possible, provide a safe and quiet environment, even if it is not their own home.