A severe thunderstorm touched the City of Chicago on the early hours of June 9, 2011. The sky was illuminated by the blue of lightning and the earth shook from the vibrations of the thunder. Many people in the Chicago area did not sleep for worry that their homes might flood.
Janice Davis, resident of Dolton, Ill., placed her mother Janet and grandchildren to sleep and closed her eyes for the night, flooding was not a concern. At 4 a.m. she was suddenly shaken awake by a loud bang. Janice ran quickly to her mother’s room for she feared lighting had struck the home. After making sure that her mother and children were safe, she peeked out the window and to her shock saw that the tree had split in half and was hanging from her roof.
The collapsed tree pulled the electric lines and cracked the foundation, leaving the home without electricity.
Janice stated, “Being without electricity and my mom, who suffers from seizure and needs a respiratory aid, scared me half to death.” Janice tried to call friends and family for help without success.
“Before you guys came, I did not know who was going to help us,” Janice told Red Cross responders. The Red Cross provided the family with the security of knowing that they would have a place to rest, plug in the respiratory aid, store medications, and think about taking their next step.
Janice and her family were caught unprepared and without a plan. During disastrous weather, expected or unexpected, it’s key to be prepared. The Red Cross urges families to make a kit that includes some the following:
• Water—at least a 3¬-day supply; one gallon per person per day
• Food—at least a 3-¬day supply of non-¬perishable, easy-¬to¬-prepare food
• Battery-powered or hand¬-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
• Extra batteries
• First aid kit
• Medications (7¬-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
• Multi¬purpose tool
• Sanitation and personal hygiene items
• Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease
to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)
• Cell phone with chargers
• Family and emergency contact information
• Extra cash
• Emergency blanket
• Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
• Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
• Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes