More than two months after Superstorm Sandy made landfall, and as the new year begins, the American Red Cross stands committed to serving communities affected by the storm.
Even as the Red Cross begins its longer-term recovery efforts, its volunteers continue to deliver food and relief supplies to those in need. Additionally, Red Cross casework, health and mental-health specialists are still providing additional resources for affected residents in our region.
Nearly 1,000 Red Cross workers are still on the ground supporting the operation.
While the Red Cross continues to distribute food in affected communities, the organization is also providing financial support to emergency food providers that have the experience and capacity to provide meals on a large-scale in New York. These organizations, including City Harvest, will be able to provide more than 80,000 meals a day to at-need communities.
How to Get Food from Partners
New York residents affected by Sandy who need food will be able to get food boxes through a network of sites located in the hardest hit areas. To access meals, contact City Harvest – (646) 412-0979.
Information is also available online at www.NYC.gov.
Even as the American Red Cross is providing food, relief supplies and comfort to thousands of people impacted by Sandy, it is focused on how it can help support long-term recovery efforts as the need for emergency services declines. To that end, the Red Cross is working with government and nonprofit partners to coordinate efforts and help Sandy survivors recover.
For the next several months, the main focus of Red Cross recovery efforts will be helping those who have trouble finding assistance on their own. FEMA and other government partners are prioritizing needs in communities; they have requested that the Red Cross first focus its assistance on several groups of people who have already been identified as needing aid. They include:
•People in the affected areas whose houses were destroyed and who are now living in hotels, and
•People whose homes are destroyed and have not had their needs met through insurance, FEMA or state resources.
This assistance could include a number of things, such as assistance with home repairs, rent, security deposits, utility deposits, connecting people with social service programs, helping them fill out paperwork for assistance or insurance claims, getting them counseling, identifying child care resources, helping them find new housing, or providing a connection to legal assistance if they are dealing with a landlord or contractor. The Red Cross can also help people find new programs for Sandy recovery.
Since the Red Cross will be given lists of people to contact for this assistance it is important that residents in need register with FEMA.
While the Red Cross does not have the scale of resources of government, it is using the donations entrusted to it to the greatest extent possible to meet remaining needs and help ensure that people don’t fall through the cracks.
Assistance to Date
So far the American Red Cross response to Sandy has been the largest in five years. As of January 22, the Red Cross has:
•Served nearly 11 million meals and snacks,
•Provided more than 109,000 health services and emotional support contacts to people affected by Sandy who have been living in very tough conditions.
•Deployed more than 16,800 disaster workers from across the region and from all 50 states; about 90 percent of these workers are volunteers.
•Distributed more than 6.9 million relief items.
•Provided more than 81,000 shelter stays.
Any funds donated for Hurricane Sandy beyond what is needed for emergency relief and the initial recovery will be put to use serving the long-term needs of communities and individuals affected by this disaster.
Photo: Red Cross emergency response vehicles continue to distribute meals to Rockaway residents that were affected by Hurricane Sandy. American Red Cross/Mason Rankin