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 today 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 to help,” said Tina Labellarte, Region CEO. “We thank all those whose generous support has enabled the Red Cross to help those affected by this storm.”
Here at home, people in the Nebraska/SW Iowa Region responded in full force during Superstorm Sandy. Ninety-seven well trained volunteers and staff left the comforts of their homes and traveled to storm damaged areas to help those who lost their livelihood. Caring Red Cross workers handed out food, clothing, water, clean-up kits and blankets. They performed damage assessments of homes, helped to manage shelters for the thousands who did not have a safe warm place to sleep and provided comfort in the form of hugs and hope toward recovery. Skilled Red Cross workers from the Nebraska/SW Iowa Region continue to work one-on-one with people to help them assistance with home repairs, rent, utility deposits, and connecting them with social service programs.
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:
• Served more than 17 million meals and snacks
• Distributed more than 7 million relief items such as cold weather items and clean-up supplies
• Provided almost 113,000 health services and emotional support contacts for people living in very tough conditions
• Provided more than 81,000 shelter stays.
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.
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 join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.