The American Red Cross issued a Hurricane Sandy progress report on our work to help people in the first three months after Superstorm Sandy struck the East Coast as well as our plans for longer-term recovery.
“Superstorm Sandy’s devastation—altered landscapes, lost homes, lives forever changed—will be felt for months to come,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the Red Cross. “With widespread support from people and businesses from across the country and around the world, the American Red Cross is helping people counter sorrow with hope.”
RECOVERY EFFORTS UNDERWAY The Red Cross is working closely with government partners on long-term recovery efforts, and the first part of the Red Cross recovery work is already underway. At the request of the federal government, we’re focusing our initial recovery assistance on an estimated 9,000 families whose houses were heavily damaged or destroyed. We’re providing resources to either repair their homes or help them move into longer-term housing.
For the next several months, a big part of the Red Cross recovery effort will be working one-on-one with families who need some extra help making recovery plans and accessing available resources. Some need help finding child care, or understanding insurance paperwork. Red Cross case workers will help guide them through the recovery process.
In New Jersey, recovery efforts continue as we work with government, Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOADs), long-term recovery committees and other nonprofits as part of a comprehensive response to help those affected, coordinating services to assure the availability of resources and to avoid redundancy of services. Red Cross case workers continue to work one-on-one with families, providing resources and assistance to help move them into longer-term housing and recovery.
RED CROSS RELIEF The Red Cross has deployed a total of more than 16,800 disaster workers in the past three months to help those affected by Sandy. Three months after landfall, more than 1,000 Red Cross workers remain on the scene, providing food, water and emotional support to people in need. Since Sandy made landfall, the Red Cross has:
• Served more than 11 million meals and snacks.
• Distributed more than 6.9 million relief items like blankets and cleaning supplies.
• Provided more than 109,000 health and mental health contacts for those affected, many of whom lost everything they owned during the storm.
• Provided nearly half (81,000) of the total 163,000 shelter stays by a range of groups.
PUBLIC GENEROSITY The Red Cross has received more than $254 million in donations and pledges for Sandy. By January 31, we will have spent or made commitments to spend an estimated $145 million, and the remaining Sandy donations will be used to help individuals and communities affected by this storm with their long-term needs. This spending, which represents both direct services and support provided to other agencies, is more than half of the money received in the first three months.
“This is a large amount of money to be spent in such a short period of time, but as has been seen in other disasters, recovery is a marathon, not a sprint,” said McGovern. “For example, the Red Cross recovery work for Hurricane Katrina lasted five years, work in Haiti is now in its third year, and the Red Cross is still helping people in Joplin after a 2011 tornado there. However long it takes, the Red Cross is committed that money donated for Sandy will stay in those communities to help the people affected by this disaster.”
More information on the Red Cross work on the Sandy emergency relief and recovery can be found at www.redcross.org/sandy-response.
See more photos at: Flickr - Northern New Jersey Hurricane Sandy Response