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Hurricane Irma: Red Cross and community partners shelter over 108,000 people overnight

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We are grateful for those who have stepped up to answer the needs of the community. In many cases we have been teaching classes with over 100 new volunteers in attendance.

Some 300 American Red Cross disaster workers from Georgia are among the more than 1,800 volunteers who have mobilized from all 50 states who are helping Georgia and Florida residents with a safe place to stay and food to eat during this massive storm. This number continues to grow as hundreds of local volunteers have signed up to join the massive relief effort. In many cases, individuals were compelled to volunteer after seeing the work of the Red Cross response in the Gulf Region of Texas. The Red Cross has been training volunteers to provide shelter services and other mission critical roles.

“We are grateful for those who have stepped up to answer the needs of the community. In many cases we have been teaching classes with over 100 new volunteers in attendance. Upon completion of their application process, background check and training, we are deploying these people to positions that directly serve evacuees and those impacted by Hurricane Irma.” said Chris Baker, Georgia’s Regional Disaster Officer.

Monday night more than 5,500 people sought refuge in 40 Red Cross and community shelters in Georgia. Along with volunteers, the Red Cross has also activated over 100 disaster response vehicles from across the country to respond in Florida and Georgia to provide meals, comfort and clean-up kits and additional support to those affected. Beginning today, evacuees who are able to do so will return home and evacuation centers that are no longer needed will close. The Red Cross is assessing disaster-caused needs across the state and will continue to operate full service shelters in identified areas of impact.

RETURNING HOME AFTER IRMA Catastrophic flooding and flash flood emergencies were only part of the effects left behind from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. In some areas, flood waters are starting to recede and people are starting to return to their homes. The American Red Cross urges safety and encourages people in affected areas to follow the advice of local authorities. If evacuated, return only when authorities indicate it is safe to do so.

HOW TO HELP- People in Florida and across Georgia are facing a dire situation. An estimated tens of thousands of homes are damaged, affecting at least a quarter of a million people. Some estimates are that over two million people have no power across Florida. People can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word “Irma” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recovery from these disasters.

BECOME A VOLUNTEER To become a Red Cross volunteer, visit redcross.org today to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application.

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 visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.