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Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle Leaving Santa Cruz Today For New York

SANTA CRUZ, CA (November 5, 2012) – Two local Red Cross volunteers are driving a local American Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle from Santa Cruz to New York to provide support to those affected by the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. An Emergency Response Vehicle can feed up to 3,000 meals a day when fully loaded and help with the bulk distribution of goods through the American Red Cross. These volunteers join the 22 Santa Cruz County volunteers deployed earlier this week. A total of 105 volunteers have been deployed from the Red Cross region covering the Monterey and San Francisco Bay Areas.

Volunteers, Janet Packer from Aptos and Robert Farnham from Hollister, will depart Monday, November 5th at 11:00 a.m. from the American Red Cross Santa Cruz office at 2960 Soquel Avenue in Santa Cruz.

“Every day we’re sending more and more workers and supplies into these states as quickly as possible,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. “Given the possibility for a nor’easter to hit next week, we are dedicating as many resources as we can to these hard-hit areas.”

Thousands of people affected by Sandy continue to seek refuge in shelters; on Saturday night, more than 10,600 people stayed in 123 shelters in nine states. The entire Red Cross fleet of 320 response vehicles has been activated to distribute hot meals, water, snacks and relief supplies. More than 5,000 Red Cross workers from all over the country are supporting shelters, providing food and water at fixed sites, and driving through neighborhoods to distribute meals and supplies. Sixty trailers of relief supplies such as personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, rakes, shovels, tarps, dust masks and work gloves are arriving this weekend in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

With millions still without power and cold temperatures forecasted for much of the mid-Atlantic next week, the Red Cross is also mobilizing an additional 80,000 blankets for New Jersey and New York.

FINANCIAL AND BLOOD DONATIONS NEEDED Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

Approximately 360 Red Cross blood drives in 13 states have already been cancelled due to the storm, resulting in a shortfall of nearly 12,000 units of blood and platelets thus far. The Red Cross is urging immediate blood and platelet donations in areas unaffected by this storm and asks that people in the affected areas consider donating blood once the storm passes through and it’s safe to do so.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet height and weight requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height), and who are generally in good health may be eligible to donate blood. To schedule an appointment, please go to www.redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

LOOKING FOR LOVED ONES The Red Cross Safe and Well website is also available. People can access the site and let loved ones know where they are. There are several ways to register on Safe and Well, or search for a loved one. From a computer, visit redcross.org; from a smart phone, visit www.redcross.org/safeandwell or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to be connected with one’s local Red Cross chapter.

About the American Red Cross Santa Cruz County Chapter

The American Red Cross Santa Cruz County Chapter is a non-profit, humanitarian organization that depends on the generous contributions of time and money from Santa Cruz County residents and companies to provide services and programs that help our community prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. For more information on disaster preparedness, health and safety classes, volunteer opportunities, and financial contributions, visit our website at www.redcross.org/santacruz or call us at 831-462-2881. You may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact: Cynthia Shaw, Cell: 408-666-6857, Cynthia.Shaw@redcross.org

24-Hour Media Hotline: 831-600-4988