Nearly two years after Superstorm Sandy made landfall, the American Red Cross has spent or made commitments to spend more than $310 million, or 99 percent of the $311.5 million donated for its Sandy response and recovery work. Of the $310 million, the Red Cross has awarded more than $55 million in grants to community-based organizations in New York helping people recover from the storm. Financial support will continue for many of those partners into 2015. Along with serving those recovering from the storm, the Red Cross is strengthening the region’s capacity to respond to future disasters by engaging more than 6,000 volunteers and over 500 community partners. – these grants will allow our support to continue into 2015.
More than $310 Million to Support Sandy Survivors
Across New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island and other Sandy-affected states (West Virginia and Delaware,) the Red Cross has spent or committed more than $310 million of the $311.5 million donated to help people affected by the storm. These funds have allowed the Red Cross to respond to the emergency needs of tens of thousands of New Yorkers—food, shelter, relief supplies, health and emotional support and more. As response shifted to recovery, the Red Cross provided individual financial assistance and disaster case management to thousands of Sandy survivors. In New York State, the Red Cross awarded more than $55 million in grants to nearly 60 government and nonprofit partners to support a range of critical recovery needs including individual casework services; housing repair; food assistance; physical and mental health services; and volunteer coordination.
“The commitment of the Red Cross to help New Yorkers affected by Sandy is as strong today as ever and will continue into 2015,” said Josh Lockwood, CEO, Red Cross Greater New York Region. “Recovery work has been possible because of the compassion and generosity of donors, in addition to the cooperation of countless volunteers, government and community partners.”
Since Sandy made landfall, the Red Cross has strengthened or forged relationships with more than 500 community-based organizations like The Disability Opportunity Fund, Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, and Friends of Rockaway.
“Without the commitment and support of the Red Cross, we would not have been able to rebuild one home,” said Michael Sinensky, founder, Friends of Rockaway. “Had the Red Cross not stepped in and kick-started our group of volunteers, our organization would have raised the white flag a long time ago.”
For an in-depth report on how the Red Cross has helped people affected by Sandy over the past two years, please read this fact sheet.
Rallying Partners and Volunteers to Strengthen Community Resiliency
Critical to a community’s resiliency is its level of emergency preparedness. The Red Cross is engaging volunteers with drills and exercises; training our communities in preparedness; and building relationships that will us to respond to future disasters.
“The size and scope of Sandy has reinforced our resolve to help build stronger communities capable of meeting future challenges,” said Kelley McKinney, chief disaster officer, Red Cross Greater New York Region. “Key to our own ability to respond to these uncertainties will be engaged community partners and an energized volunteer workforce.”
On Sept. 27, 2014, the Red Cross organized nearly 500 volunteers and staff from Long Island, the Lower Hudson Valley and NYC to participate in a full-scale, category 3 hurricane exercise. Working alongside community and government partners, ranging from small faith-based groups to large nonprofits to offices of emergency management from towns and cities across our area, the exercise included opening two emergency operations centers, five shelters and four bulk distribution sites.
The Red Cross has teamed with dozens of partners like faith-based organizations and senior centers to train more than 4,300 New Yorkers. In particular, there has been a focus on community resiliency, preparedness, and those living in disaster-prone neighborhoods. By teaching people how to reunite with family and friends during or after a disaster; explaining the proper supplies to stock up on; and discussing factors to consider when deciding whether to shelter-in-place or to evacuate, the goal is to minimize the effect of a disaster on those families.
The Red Cross has also been working with other organizations to strengthen its capacity to respond to large-scale disasters. These partners have helped secure locations to place more than 30 Red Cross mobile trailers stocked with tens of thousands of emergency relief supplies in neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens, as well as Nassau and Suffolk Counties and Middletown, NY. These pre-positioned supplies are strategically placed in safe areas next to, but outside of, hurricane flood zones and supplement existing supplies already in place in these areas.
To learn more about more about how the Red Cross prepares itself, how it helps ready the community for the unexpected and how you can join these efforts, visit www.redcross.org.