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Red Cross Advises to Prepare for Worsening Extreme Weather During National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, and the American Red Cross of Wyoming is urging everyone to prepare for worsening climate disasters and extreme weather conditions. The Cowboy State has experienced intensifying wildfires, floods and extreme heat in recent years.

The American Red Cross of Wyoming has released the following statement:

During National Preparedness Month in September, the American Red Cross of Wyoming urges everyone to prepare for worsening climate disasters and extreme weather affecting Wyoming, which has experienced intensifying wildfire, floods and extreme heat.

Severe weather like this is part of a worsening national trend in which the American Red Cross has responded to nearly twice as many large disasters across the country as it did a decade ago.

As rapidly intensifying, weather-related events pose serious challenges to its humanitarian work and the people it serves, the Red Cross has announced an ambitious national plan to take urgent action. With more climate-driven disasters upending lives and devastating communities, the organization is racing to adapt its services and grow its disaster response capacity across the country, while also funding new international programs on climate response and preparedness, as well as minimizing its own environmental footprint.

Here in Wyoming, this includes recruiting and training more volunteers to respond to disasters locally and across the country.

“As the frequency and intensity of disasters grow, more people need help more often,” said Janet Lewis, executive director, American Red Cross of Wyoming. “Yet as fast as our volunteers are working to help, the needs are escalating faster. That’s why it’s critical to not only prepare yourself for risks like wildfires in our community, but to also help families in need — both locally and in other parts of the country. Join us by becoming a volunteer or making a financial donation to support our disaster relief efforts.”

In the first half of 2023 alone, the nation experienced an above-average 15 billion-dollar disasters. That’s all on top of extreme heat in Wyoming and other communities — which have made July the country’s hottest single month on record. What’s more, the U.S. is just now entering its typical peak time for wildfires.

As extreme weather disasters increase, more people need help from the Red Cross in the U.S. Nationwide, the organization is taking bold and thoughtful actions to adapt its services and grow its capacity by:

  • Enhancing large-scale disaster response services by bolstering the aid provided in emergency shelters and extending casework support to help people with the most recovery needs.
  • Expanding financial assistance to help more families with unmet needs and bridge the gap between immediate disaster relief and long-term recovery assistance.
  • Strengthening local partner networks in targeted areas that face a high risk of extreme weather and existing societal inequities with a focus on increased access to health and mental health services, nutritious food and safe housing for local families.
  • Growing its disaster workforce — comprised of 90% trained volunteers — to deepen its disaster readiness. This includes fortifying the critical infrastructure and technology that enables 24/7 response to disasters across the country.

For National Preparedness Month, take three lifesaving actions — get a kit, make a plan and be informed — to help protect yourself against local emergencies.

For more safety tips, visit the Red Cross website.

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