Six months after Superstorm Sandy destroyed communities and disrupted lives in New York and New Jersey, the American Red Cross issued its six-month progress report detailing its ongoing efforts to help people affected by the storm.
"Signs of recovery can be seen throughout the areas hit by this major storm, and while it will take a long time for the region to rebuild, the Red Cross will be there throughout the process to help," said Gary Striar, CEO of the American Red Cross Northeastern New York Region. "We thank all those whose generous support has enabled the Red Cross to help those affected by this storm, our region received more than $2.3 million in donations for Superstorm Sandy."
The Northeastern New York Region prepared for Superstorm Sandy in advance of its landfall in October of 2012, and once it was determined that the storm's track would not adversely impact upstate New York, and that the majority of the devastation took place in lower New York State and New Jersey, people quickly responded to assist with disaster relief via financial contributions, in-kind donations of goods and supplies, donating blood and by volunteering their time to assist those in need.
"We have had 30 Red Cross workers from our region deploy to the Greater New York area and New Jersey during the last six months to assist with Red Cross Superstorm Sandy relief and recovery efforts. Employees and volunteers worked in the fields of health services, sheltering and mass care feeding, transportation, bulk distribution of goods, government liaisons, client casework, and long-term recovery support," said Tim Bachman, Director of Emergency Services, American Red Cross Northeastern New York Region.
SIX MONTHS OF HELPING The Red Cross launched an immediate large-scale relief effort after the storm came ashore - the largest U.S. disaster response by the Red Cross in more than five years. Following weeks of providing emergency relief, today the Red Cross has a long-term recovery operation underway. At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other government partners, the Red Cross is working with about 9,000 families whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged.
The Red Cross is helping these families find new places to live, clean mold from their water-logged homes, get emotional support during their struggle and financial support as they work to put their lives back together. Trained Red Cross workers are meeting one-on-one with people to help provide assistance with home repairs, rent, utility deposits and available social service programs.
GRANT PROGRAMS The Red Cross is also giving grant money to other non-profit groups to support the help they are providing to those affected by Sandy. This includes giving nearly $6 million in grants to three food banks in New York to help ensure people continue to get the food they need. A grant of $500,000 has been given to Operation Hope to provide assistance and financial counseling to survivors. Another $5 million has gone to a mold remediation program to help New York residents clean up their homes.
RED CROSS RELIEF In these past six months more than 17,000 Red Cross disaster workers - about 90 percent of them volunteers - have responded to help those affected by Sandy. The Red Cross has:
Approximately $302 million was donated to the Red Cross as of April 18 to help those affected by Sandy, and the Red Cross has spent or made commitments to spend about $192 million, which is nearly two-thirds of the contributions to date.The Red Cross is committed to spending all money donated for Sandy to help the people and communities affected by this storm. The six-month report and other information on the Red Cross Sandy relief and recovery efforts can be found at www.redcross.org/sandy-response.
Click here to watch the American Red Cross: Superstorm Sandy 6 Months Later Video
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/neny or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.