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Red Cross Recovery Efforts to Help Sandy Survivors


The American Red Cross, which will spend an estimated $110 million by the end of December on Superstorm Sandy emergency relief, is working closely with government and community partners on longer-term recovery efforts for survivors.

The initial Red Cross recovery plan, developed in coordination with FEMA and other partners to identify and address unmet needs, is estimated to cost another $60 million. Any Sandy donation beyond what is used for emergency relief and this initial recovery plan will be used for other longer-term needs of those affected by this disaster.

Hurricane Sandy is the biggest U.S. disaster response by the Red Cross in more than five years, and the generous support of so many people and companies across the country have enabled the Red Cross to provide food, shelter, relief supplies and comfort to tens of thousands of people impacted by Sandy, especially in New York and New Jersey.

Sandy was a huge storm that spread over an area the size of Europe, and the Red Cross is part of a community of groups to respond that includes federal, state and local governments as well as many other nonprofit organizations.

As of December 17, the American Red Cross has received $202 million in donations and pledges for its Sandy response, and has been using those funds to give help and hope for weeks already, and will continue to do.

The Red Cross estimates that its emergency relief operations are going to cost an estimated $110 million by the end of December. This money has supported a Red Cross Sandy response that includes:

  • Serving more than 9 million meals and snacks.
  • Handing out more than 6.7 million relief items such as cold weather items and clean-up supplies.
  • Providing more than 103,000 health services and emotional support contacts for people living in very tough conditions.
  • Supported more than 81,000 shelter stays, more than half of the total number of Sandy shelter stays (158,000) provided by a range of groups.
  • Over the past nearly two months, the Red Cross has mobilized more than 15,800 trained workers for our Sandy response; 90 percent of them are volunteers from across the country. About 1,400 Red Cross workers are supporting survivors through the relief work, which will continue past Christmas and into the new year.

    Any remaining donations for Sandy after the emergency relief activities will be used by the Red Cross to meet longer-term needs of people affected by this disaster.

    Even as the Red Cross still is bringing relief to Sandy survivors, it also is moving into long-term recovery. FEMA and other government partners are prioritizing needs in the affected communities, and they have requested that the Red Cross focus its assistance first on three groups of people who have already been identified as needing aid:

  • People in New York and New Jersey whose homes were destroyed and are in need of either repair assistance or longer-term rental housing;
  • Those whose homes were destroyed in states which did not receive federal disaster money;
  • People with demonstrated needs that exceed what can be met by insurance, FEMA and state resources.
  • Part of the Red Cross efforts over the next several months will involve one-on-one work helping those who have trouble finding assistance on their own. These are the types of activities a survivor doesn’t want to go through alone, and Red Cross workers can provide expertise and a shoulder to lean on during the process. That includes helping people fill out insurance paperwork, identify child care resources, find new housing, and connect with social services in their communities.

    In addition, the Red Cross will be supporting projects and programs of other non-profit groups in the New York and New Jersey areas, such as working with several local food banks to help Sandy survivors have access to food during the new year.

    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 or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.