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Superstorm Sandy: 1 Year Later - Our Local Response

sandy pa
“The response was a testament to our volunteers, staff, donors, and supporters, because without them the response would not have been nearly as effective.” -American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania CEO Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes

In an effort to thank our generous supporters, the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania is proud to provide the following information on how we met the challenge of Superstorm Sandy. It explains our efforts to help people recover after the storm by providing links to a detailed report, videos, blog entries, photographs and a slide show of relief and recovery.

To download the shorter executive summary right now, click here.

Red Cross Releases One-Year Superstorm Sandy Report

The American Red Cross has released a one-year Superstorm Sandy report detailing its response and recovery work to help residents affected by this historic storm, which made landfall on October 29, 2012.

“Donations to the Red Cross have helped countless families start over in a new place to live, clean out the mold from their water-logged homes, or get much-needed financial and emotional support to rebuild their homes and lives,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the Red Cross. “The needs are still great, and there is more work to do. We are committed to continue working with the communities that were impacted by this devastating storm to provide services and support.”

INSIDE THE REPORT The One-Year Superstorm Sandy Report details the extraordinary measures taken by the Red Cross to respond to Sandy, from volunteer deployment and relief efforts to temporary and permanent housing assistance to key partnerships with government and non-government entities, as well as the strong outpouring of support from donors.

The Red Cross met Sandy’s significant damage with its largest U.S. response in five years. More than 17,000 trained workers from all over the country – 90 percent of them volunteers, powered the massive emergency relief effort. This response included:

•Serving more than 17.5 million meals and snacks in a huge feeding operation.

•Handing out more than 7 million relief items such as cold weather items and clean-up supplies.

•Providing nearly 113,000 health services and emotional support contacts for people who have been living in very tough conditions.

•Providing 74,000 overall shelter stays for Sandy.

RECOVERY EFFORTS ONGOING Even as its emergency relief work was occurring, the Red Cross began to help people in the long recovery process that continues today. Trained Red Cross workers are meeting with those in need, providing case management and financial assistance to help with security and utility deposits, home repairs and rent as well as linking them to available social service programs.

The response and recovery from a storm of this size takes time and help from many organizations. Over the past year, the Red Cross has worked together with government and community partners at every step to provide assistance to those that need it most.

In addition, the Red Cross has given $60 million in grants to a number of nonprofits working in New

Jersey and New York to help people with home repairs, mold remediation, food, financial assistance and financial counseling, and to support the work of community roundtables to help address unmet needs.

Take a minute to watch the Superstorm Sandy Video: One Year Later

LOCAL EFFORTS The American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania played a significant role in preparing residents for Sandy’s landfall by sharing tips for getting ready and providing information on the supplies people need. Once Sandy hit, the Red Cross had 17 shelters in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties open, housing more than 600 people for at least one night. In addition, several thousand people came by the Red Cross shelter and supply distribution site at Palisades High School in Bucks County for meals, hot showers, cleaning supplies, tarps, ice, water, and other supplies for more than a week.

Once the need in Southeastern Pennsylvania subsided, more than 200 local volunteers deployed for up to three weeks to New York and New Jersey to assist with relief efforts there.

“Once the needs of our region were met, we were quick to help our friends and neighbors in New Jersey and New York,” American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania CEO Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes said. “The response was a testament to our volunteers, staff, donors, and supporters, because without them the response would not have been nearly as effective.”

THANK YOU The work of the Red Cross is possible because of the compassion and generosity of the American public, and the Red Cross already has spent or made commitments to spend $280 million, more than 90 percent of the $308 million donated for Sandy. The Red Cross expects to use the biggest share of the remaining money to help people with a range of housing-related expenses, support community resiliency programs and give more grants to community non-profit partners to help Sandy survivors.