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Red Cross Still Helping 18 Months After Sandy

Red Cross Still Helping 18 Months After Sandy.
"The Red Cross is spending the money people donated for Sandy quickly, carefully and wisely..."

Today marks 18 months since Superstorm Sandy hit New York. The American Red Cross continues to help people recover and rebuild in a number of ways, including individual financial assistance and disaster case management; grants to government and non-profit partners; partnering with community organizations; and preparing communities to be more resilient in the face of the next disaster.

Individual Financial Assistance & Disaster Case Management

Trained Red Cross staff are meeting one-on-one with people still in need, providing supportive case management and connection with financial assistance and community-based services.

“The Red Cross Move-In Assistance Program continues to provide financial assistance to some of the hardest-hit people whose primary homes were destroyed or made uninhabitable,” said Josh Lockwood, CEO, American Red Cross Greater New York Region. “The Move-In Assistance Program has helped with needs including new furniture and appliances, rental assistance, storage and moving costs, home repairs, and temporary shelter costs.”

As of April 28, the Red Cross Move-In Assistance Program has provided $16.5 million in financial assistance to 2,531 households in New York State.

Grants

The response and recovery from such a major storm takes time and help from many organizations. Over the last year and a half, the Red Cross has worked together with government and community partners to provide assistance to those who need it most.

As of April 28, the Red Cross has awarded $51.9 million in grants to nonprofits working in hard-hit communities in New York State. Most of these grants are to organizations providing home repairs and rebuilding, mold remediation, food, financial assistance and mental health counseling. We also are supporting the work of community roundtables that will help ensure that the needs of Sandy survivors are met for years to come, through direct financial assistance and coordination of construction supplies and volunteer labor.

Click here for a list of organizations the Red Cross is supporting through grants.

Community Recovery

The Red Cross Community Recovery team is our “eyes and ears of the communities” working to identify recovery needs of individual communities and convening resources to support recovery. Included on the team is a government liaison who works with the FEMA Joint Field Office and helps with outreach to elected officials. Community Recovery supports long-term recovery groups and community organizations in affected communities. They also provide preparedness training to build more resilient communities in the face of the next disaster.

As of April 28, Red Cross Community Recovery specialists have attended more than 1,500 community meetings, trained nearly 2,600 people in preparedness, reached more than 2,500 people with tabling and informational events, and provided more than 1,200 Sandy-affected people with information on case management.

Initial Response

These ongoing recovery efforts build on the food, shelter, relief supplies and support provided by the Red Cross for months after the storm hit in late October 2012.

The Red Cross met Sandy’s significant damage with our largest U.S. response in five years, and we provided several months of emergency relief to people whose lives were disrupted by the storm.

The emergency relief effort in New York State was powered by more than 10,000 trained workers from all over the country – 90 percent of them volunteers.

The response in New York State included serving more than 13 million meals and snacks; distributing 5.3 million relief items such as cold weather items and home clean-up supplies; offering nearly 75,000 health services and emotional support contacts; and providing nearly 30,000 Red Cross shelter stays.

Donations Turn Compassion into Action

Our work is possible because of the compassion and generosity of donors, and the Red Cross has spent or made commitments to spend more than 93 percent of the money we have raised for our Sandy work.

As of February 28, the Red Cross has spent or made commitments to spend $291 million of the $311.5 million donated to support our work with Sandy-affected households and communities. This amount includes donations and money that we have allocated to the initial response to Sandy and to recovery services still being offered.

We plan to use the biggest share of the remaining money to help people with housing-related expenses through the Move-In Assistance Program. We will also provide grants to nonprofit organizations assisting the people and communities hardest hit by Sandy.

“The Red Cross is spending the money people donated for Sandy quickly, carefully and wisely – and in line with the intent of our donors,” Lockwood said. “We are proud that an average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs.”

Going Forward

The needs from Superstorm Sandy remain, and the Red Cross continues to help thanks to the generosity of our donors. Buildings, communities and lives that were built over decades were destroyed in just a few terrible hours by Sandy, and rebuilding will not be quick or easy. It will take time for people to heal, rebuild and recover, and we are working together to bring that day closer.

If you, or your family, have been affected by Sandy and still need assistance, please call 1-877-RED-CROSS.

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/gny or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossNY.