National Red Cross Societies across the Americas are helping communities prepare for the arrival of two potentially devastating storms that are bearing down on the East Coast of the United States and several countries in the Caribbean.

The American Red Cross is active in multiple states ahead of the projected arrival of Hurricane Florence, which is currently a Category 4 storm but is expected to gain in strength as it reaches the warmer coastal waters. The National Society is urging people to obey any evacuation orders and is working with local and national authorities to identify and prepare storm shelters, and plans to deploy vehicles, equipment and relief goods until weather conditions deteriorate and it is no longer safe to travel.

Volunteers and staff are on standby to provide shelter for tens of thousands of people who may be displaced by the hurricane, and give whatever support is needed until the storm has passed and conditions improve. Their hurricane preparedness advice is available here.

Meanwhile, communities across the Caribbean are preparing for the arrival of Tropical Storm Isaac, which is heading west towards the Lesser Antilles. Storm warnings are in place for Guadeloupe, Martinique, Dominica, Antigua, Montserrat and St Kitts and Nevis.

The Red Cross societies of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis are all actively preparing for the storm, as are the British Red Cross branches of Anguilla and Montserrat, the Netherlands Red Cross branches of Sint Maarten, Statia and Saba, and the French Red Cross branches of St Martin, St Barthelemy, Guadeloupe and Martinique.