PHOENIX (Nov. 7, 2012) – The American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter is deploying two more disaster relief workers Thursday, with the East Coast still recovering from Hurricane Sandy as it gets walloped by a nor’easter that’s bringing strong winds, rain, snow, coastal surges and power outages.
Joe Mann, 80, of Tempe, is flying to Newark, N.J., to work in mental health, and Joy Richards, 57, of Glendale, is flying to White Plains, N.Y., to be a shelter supervisor. Mann has volunteered with the Red Cross the past 11 years, while Richards, the leader of a Southwest Valley Disaster Action Team that responds to local emergencies like home fires and floods, has more than 6,000 volunteer hours since 2008. In total, the Grand Canyon Chapter has now deployed 21 people and two emergency response vehicles to the East Coast for Sandy relief operations – and more could be on the way.
It probably will be the largest U.S. response by the Red Cross in the past five years, as an expansive feeding operation continues to get hot meals to residents in New York and New Jersey, where warming centers have been established – stocked with thousands of blankets, hand and foot warmers, hats, gloves, ponchos and socks. About 8,500 people displaced by Sandy spent Tuesday night in more than 100 shelters, and the Red Cross has totaled 60,500-plus overnight stays since Sandy came ashore last week. The Red Cross has fixed feeding sites in New York and New Jersey, as well as mobile distribution of meals, snacks and water – weather permitting. More than 3.2 million meals and snacks have been served by the Red Cross, which also has handed out 121,000-plus relief items and offered 27,500-plus health services and emotional support contacts. The Red Cross has more than 5,800 workers from all 50 states – about 90 percent are volunteers – along the East Coast, having activated its whole fleet of 323 ERVs. Sixty trailers of relief supplies, including personal hygiene items, rakes, shovels, tarps, dust masks and gloves, arrived on the East Coast last weekend.
About 380 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled due to Sandy, resulting in the loss of 12,800-plus blood and platelet products, however, the Red Cross blood supply has been replenished. If anyone is eligible to donate in places unaffected by the storm, they’re asked to make an appointment to give blood by visiting www.redcrossblood.org or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS. In addition, financial donations allow the Red Cross to provide food, clothing, shelter and emotional support to those whose lives are altered by disasters like Sandy. Donations can be made at www.redcross.org/donate, by calling 1-800-REDCROSS or by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999 for a $10 gift, off your wireless bill.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. It’s a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. The Grand Canyon Chapter, established in 1916, re-chartered in 1999 and expanded in 2003, ranks as the fifth-largest chapter nationally, serving the more than 5.1 million people in Apache, Coconino, Gila, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Navajo, Pinal, Yavapai and Yuma counties. For more information on the Grand Canyon Chapter, please visit www.arizonaredcross.org, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/redcrossgcc or follow us on Twitter under the handle @RedCrossGCC.