The American Red Cross continues preparedness and response efforts for Hurricane Sandy across multiple states along the East Coast.
The effects of the storm have already been felt by most North Carolina residents as Sandy continues to pound down on the Outer Banks and across the northeastern part of the state. The major threat to our area has been high winds and coastal flooding which has already shut down roads and caused power outages.
From the Eastern NC Red Cross, hundreds of local disaster volunteers have been called to respond. Three emergency vehicles stocked with supplies are staged in damage-prone areas. Over the weekend, two evacuation shelters were opened in flood prone areas near the Pamlico Sound with 76 residents seeking shelter and comfort from the storm. Household clean up kits and comfort kits with hygiene items have been given to 30 families whose homes experienced wind and flood damage, more supplies will be distributed throughout the next few days.
Red Cross workers have set up a command center in Elizabeth City and have volunteers ready to provide services and conduct damage assessment in affected areas across our region. Once the threat in NC has passed, the Eastern NC Region will support the larger response operation along the east coast.
“We anticipate moving volunteers and supplies by the end of the week,” said Victoria Kling, Response Manager for the Eastern NC Red Cross. “Once it is safe to mobilize our teams, we will send resources further north to support the Hurricane Sandy response.”
Although NC will be spared the big hit from Hurricane Sandy, this large and powerful storm could affect as many as 60 million people in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The Red Cross has workers and relief supplies in place to provide help to people in the path of Sandy. Almost 100 Red Cross emergency vehicles are mobilizing to distribute meals and relief supplies after the storm passes. Thousands of ready-to-eat meals and relief supplies such as cots and blankets are also being sent into the region.
HOW TO HELP “This will be a large, costly relief response and we need help now,” Kling said. “People can help by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief online, by text or by phone.”
Donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone’s local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
PLEASE GIVE BLOOD The storm has already caused the cancellation of Red Cross blood drives in the region, and more cancellations are expected. This has resulted in the loss of several hundred units of blood and platelets so far. The Red Cross has shipped blood products to hospitals in the affected area in advance of the storm as patients will still need blood and platelets despite the weather. If anyone is eligible, especially in places not affected by the storm, they are asked to please schedule a blood donation now.
To schedule a blood donation or get more information about giving blood, people can visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To give blood, someone must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health.
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. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.