Due to milder than predicted weather conditions, and a smaller sheltering population and need, the American Red Cross Northeastern New York Region (ARCNENY) is closing some of the shelters (see list of closing shelters at the bottom) that were opened yesterday for Hurricane Sandy.
Here is the shelter population count and locations - total of 64 - for last night:
The full extent of the impact is still unknown, but Hurricane Sandy did affect some of our region - mostly in the Mid-Hudson Valley. The Red Cross is currently sending out eight teams for damage assessment in the following counties: Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Schoharie and Ulster. We are also assessing the needs of Red Cross chapters in the southern part of New York State/Metro New York and Long Island (Greater New York Region) to be able to mobilize volunteers to help with the disaster relief operations ongoing in those regions - if/when the requests come to us.
We are also dispatching three Disaster Mental Health volunteers (originally deployed to ARCNENY) to the Disaster Operations Center based in White Plains, NY - to receive new assignments to provide comfort.
Downstate and beyond, we know that homes have been destroyed and lives have been lost. Our thoughts are with our neighbors who have lost so much, including many of our dedicated disaster workers.
Last night, more than 2,700 residents sought shelter in the Greater New York region, and we expect that number to grow, as there are widespread power outages, damaged homes and flooded neighborhoods.
It is important that New Yorkers stay safe and only leave their homes if they need to, to keep the roads clear for cleanup crews and emergency responders. If you must leave your home, avoid flooded areas as they can hide hazards like downed wires, debris and sewage.
For those who may seek refuge in a shelter, bring items to help keep you comfortable, like a pillow, change of clothes, hygiene items, and medications.
This is a large disaster with an even larger footprint. Nearly 11,000 people spent Monday night in 258 Red Cross shelters in 16 states - New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Indiana, Michigan.
We are in close contact with our partners in emergency management on the local, state and federal levels. After the danger passes, our damage assessment teams will help determine the needs of our communities. Hundreds of Red Cross disaster responders and response vehicles are on the way from outside the Greater New York Region. With these vehicles, we will be able to deliver meals and cleanup items to affected communities.
In addition to the immediate impacts of the storm, the response to incidents like fires has been hampered by the weather. As conditions allow, the Red Cross, working with first responders, will do all it can to ensure that New Yorkers are cared for.
Help is on the way but we need New Yorkers to remain calm and be patient as we are all in this together. In coming days, we will need their help. For information, including locations of shelters or how to donate, please click or call 1-800 RED CROSS.
The following shelters are closing today in ARCNENY:
Red Cross Managed Shelters:
Dutchess County -1 p.m.
Essex County -1 p.m.
Montgomery County -1 p.m.
Schoharie County -1 p.m.
Ulster County - 2 p.m.
Albany County -1 p.m.
HOW TO HELP: To help people affected by disasters like Hurrican Sandy, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Click to donate, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
PLEASE GIVE BLOOD: The Red Cross is moving shipments of blood products to hospitals along the coast in advance of the storm as patients will still need blood and platelets despite the weather. Sandy could affect the turn-out at Red Cross blood drives. If anyone is eligible, especially in places not affected by the storm, they are asked to please schedule a blood donation now.
To schedule a donation time or get more information about giving blood, people can visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To give blood, someone must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health. Donors should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID with them. Some states allow 16-year-olds to give with parental consent.
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.