With Tropical Storm Isaac expected to reach Florida on Sunday, the American Red Cross is mobilizing more than 1,000 trained disaster workers, thousands of relief supplies and is preparing to open dozens of shelters to assist those displaced by the storm. Those volunteers began arriving from around the nation earlier this week and continue to move into place as the storm grows closer.
“Half of our emergency response vehicles for the entire country have either been deployed or are on the ready to assist Florida and the Gulf Coast with whatever damage Isaac may bring,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of disaster services. “We are taking steps now to help those affected by the storm, and those in Isaac’s projected path should start preparing now.”
In addition to readying Florida for the potential of wind and serious flooding in the next few days, the Red Cross has also mobilized efforts in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. The Red Cross has dozens of shelters on stand-by, hundreds of disaster workers preparing to help as needed and more than 50 pre-positioned support trailers ready with supplies in the Gulf and along the East Coast.
The Red Cross has pre-stocked 30,000 ready-to-eat meals in Florida and two mobile kitchens are being sent in to the state. The Red Cross is also working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners to coordinate response plans. Partners include the Southern Baptist Convention, NAACP, AmeriCorps, Brethren Disaster Ministries, Children’s Disaster Services, Islamic Relief USA, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, among others.
The Red Cross is aided in its disaster work by more than 30 leading corporations that are members of the organization’s Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and Disaster Responder (DR) program. Members of these programs pledge donations on an ongoing basis, in advance of major disasters. These companies understand that proper supplies and systems have to be in place to respond effectively. With pre-positioned supplies and adequately secured resources, the Red Cross can immediately take action when disasters strike.
The 2012 ADGP members are: 3M; Altria Group; Aon; Bank of America; Briggs & Stratton Corporation; Caterpillar Inc.; Cisco Foundation; Citi Foundation; Community Safety Foundation funded by AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah Insurance Exchange; ConAgra Foods Foundation; Costco Wholesale Corporation; Darden Restaurants, Inc.; Dell Inc.; Dr Pepper Snapple Group; FedEx Corporation; GE Foundation; Hewlett-Packard Company Foundation; The Home Depot Foundation; John Deere Foundation; Johnson Controls; Kimberly-Clark Corporation; Kraft Foods; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; Merck Co. Foundation; Nationwide Insurance Foundation; Northrop Grumman; Optum; PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation; Southwest Airlines; State Farm; Target; The TJX Companies, Inc.; UnitedHealthcare; University of Phoenix; UPS; Walmart; The Walt Disney Company; WellPoint Foundation; and Wells Fargo
The 2012 DR members are: American Express; ArcelorMittal; AstraZeneca; AXA Foundation; Ford Motor Company; General Motors Foundation; H&R Block; Ingersoll Rand; Morgan Stanley; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; PuroClean; Ryder Charitable Foundation; Starbucks Coffee Company and Starbucks Foundation; State Street Foundation; Tyson Foods, Inc.; and US Airways.
The Red Cross responds to more than 70,000 disasters a year and always needs the generous donations of the American people. Please consider helping by making a donation. You can call, click or text to donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.