WASHINGTON, Saturday, November 3, 2012 — The American Red Cross relief operation for Hurricane Sandy continues to grow each day, with more than 4,000 disaster workers providing shelter, food and relief supplies, particularly in hard-hit New Jersey and New York.
“Our entire fleet of response vehicles and thousands of Red Crossers are on the ground helping people affected by Sandy,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. “We’re driving through neighborhoods in all five boroughs in New York and parts of New Jersey to provide food, water, supplies and comfort.”
On Friday night, more than 12,800 people across nine states stayed in shelters. Of these, more than 6,100 were in Red Cross shelters in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio. Millions more are still without power, water or heat.
The large Red Cross operation in New Jersey and New York continues to build as more kitchens, fixed feeding sites and emergency aid locations are set up and response vehicles start making rounds in neighborhoods. So far, more than 275,000 meals and snacks have been provided in those two states alone.
Since Sandy began to affect the East Coast one week ago, the Red Cross has worked in 12 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico to help people in need. Over the past week, the Red Cross has—
RETURNING HOME As residents begin to return home, it is important they take steps to avoid potentially dangerous conditions. The Red Cross offers the following safety tips:
HOW TO HELP The Red Cross response to Sandy is very large, and will be very costly. Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. They can also use the “donate” feature on the free Red Cross Apps for mobile devices to support this relief response. Contributions may also be sent to local Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
PLEASE GIVE BLOOD More than 360 Red Cross blood drives have been cancelled due to the storm, representing a loss of as many as 12,000 blood and platelet products. People who are eligible, especially in places not affected by the storm, are asked to schedule a donation appointment in the days and weeks to come.
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.
LET LOVED ONES KNOW People can let their loved ones know how they are by using the “I’m Safe” button on the Red Cross Hurricane App, or registering on the Red Cross Safe and Well website. The Hurricane App, which also contains safety tips on what people should do after the storm, can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. To register on Safe and Well, visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).