As a historic winter storm battered the Greater New York area, American Red Cross disaster responders were hard at work providing relief to hundreds of New Yorkers in need.
In advance of the storm, the Red Cross prepositioned supplies and mobilized volunteers across the region in the event they would be needed.
Friday evening, disaster responders opened a shelter on Long Island at Westbury High School, in Old Westbury, to provide refuge for residents escaping the storm.
Early Saturday morning, Long Island Red Cross volunteers were called to the scene of a fatal, multiple-alarm fire that tore through several adjoining apartment buildings in Hempstead.
There, they provided blankets for dozens of residents forced out into the cold. They also provided coffee and snacks to firefighters battling the intense blaze in frigid temperatures.
A Red Cross shelter team, which included health and mental-health volunteers, immediately opened a shelter at the Kennedy Park Recreation Center, thanks to Village of Hempstead staff. At this time, nearly 120 residents--including 2-dozen children--have sought meals and a safe, warm place to sleep tonight.
Meanwhile, the Red Cross provided food and blankets to dozens of motorists, who were taken to the Nesconset Fire Department and Brookhaven Town Hall, after being rescued from their vehicles as the result of the storm.
Throughout the day, disaster responders also assisted several families across New York City, the Lower Hudson Valley and Long Island that were displaced by nearly a dozen single-family home fires and roof collapses.
The Red Cross stands ready to respond to any additional disasters that may occur in our area. All Red Cross disaster assistance is provided at no cost to those affected thanks to the generosity of volunteers and donors. To learn more about the American Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org.