Statement by the American Red Cross
It is regrettable that ProPublica and NPR have used the two-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy’s landfall to paint a distorted and inaccurate picture of a Red Cross response that helped tens of thousands of people who urgently needed our services with hot meals, shelter, relief supplies and financial support. Our mission is to alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies, and that alone is what guided our service delivery decisions during Sandy and during every emergency.
We are proud of the work of our 17,000 Sandy workers – nearly all of them volunteers– who served more than 17.5 million meals and snacks, distributed 7 million relief items, and provided 74,000 overnight stays in shelters. Two years after Sandy’s landfall, the Red Cross has spent or committed to spend $310 million, which is 99 percent of the $311.5 million raised for our Sandy response. And our surveys show that the overwhelming majority of the people we served had a positive experience with the Red Cross and the services we provided.
In the chaotic first few hours and days after a disaster, it is impossible to meet every need, especially on a disaster as big as Sandy. When problems occur, we try to fix them quickly, and we always strive to do better. As we do with all major disasters, the Red Cross proactively sought feedback from hundreds of volunteers, staff and others as part of a thorough review of its response to Sandy. Based on that feedback, and our own evaluation, we implemented changes to continuously strengthen our service delivery.