Red Cross Mobilizing in Advance of Historic and Powerful Hurricane Irma
Storm batters Caribbean and heads for Florida
Washington, D.C., September 7, 2017 — The American Red Cross is mounting a massive response as Hurricane Irma — the most powerful Atlantic Ocean storm on record – remains a Category 5 hurricane with 175 mph winds expected to impact Florida as early as Friday. Irma has already caused destruction on many Caribbean island nations on its track toward the United States, and the Red Cross urges that those in the possible path of this storm monitor weather reports and get prepared or evacuate now.
In the Caribbean:
Hurricane Irma has already battered an estimated 1.2 million people in the Caribbean, and threatens millions more as it moves across the region. On the island of Barbuda, most of the buildings are damaged. Anguilla and St. Maarten also received major damage. Thousands of residents are without power and water, and there are major disruptions in phone and cell service. On Anguilla, the local Red Cross facility was severely damaged. In addition to the Red Cross Societies on the islands, numerous countries are helping, including the American Red Cross and Red Cross Societies in Canada, Italy, Spain, and Norway, as well as teams from the International Federation of the Red Cross and International Committee of the Red Cross.
In the U.S.:
In Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, some roads are damaged, phone and cell service is disrupted, and airports and ports are closed. In Puerto Rico, the Red Cross is on the ground helping and has sent in relief items such as blankets, personal hygiene items and cleaning supplies. More than half-a-million people are without power. More than 140 people spent Wednesday night in 20 shelters. On the U.S. Virgin Islands, almost 300 people spent Wednesday night in 6 shelters.
As the storm makes its way towards Florida, the Red Cross is getting supplies and trained workers in place to support sheltering and relief efforts.
Governors in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina have issued states of emergency for all three states, which could face impact from the storm sometime next week.
Find a shelter by visiting redcross.org or by downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App. The Emergency App also puts real-time information about the storm and hurricane safety tips at your fingertips. The app is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps. You can also follow these safety steps:
Before the storm:
During the storm:
How to Help
The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disaster. Help people affected by Hurricane Irma by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word IRMA to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
CORPORATIONS HELP The generous donations from members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and the Disaster Responder Program enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters big and small, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur and help families during the recovery process.
ADGP $1 Million members are: American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Anthem Foundation; Bank of America; Caterpillar Foundation; The Clorox Company; Costco Wholesale; Delta Air Lines; Disney; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; General Motors Foundation; Grainger; The Home Depot Foundation; LDS Charities; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; Mazda North American Operations; Microsoft Corp.; Nationwide Foundation; PepsiCo Foundation; State Farm; Target; UPS; VSP Global; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; and The Wawa Foundation.
ADGP $500,000 members are: Altria Group; American Express; Aon; Boise Paper; Capital One; Cisco Foundation; Citi Foundation; Darden Restaurants, Inc. Foundation; Discover; Edison International; Farmers Insurance; Ford Motor Company; Humble Bundle; International Paper; John Deere Foundation; Johnson Controls; McDonald’s Corporation; Medtronic Foundation; Meijer; Merck Foundation; Mondelēz International Foundation; Procter & Gamble Company; Reynolds American Foundation; Ryder; Southwest Airlines; Sunoco; TD Ameritrade; The TJX Companies, Inc.; United Airlines; and Wells Fargo.
Disaster Responder Program members are: Adobe; Alcoa; Alliance Data; Astellas USA Foundation; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; AXA; The Ball Foundation; BMW of North America; BNY Mellon; CarMax; Cox Automotive; Duke Energy; Entergy Corporation; Harbor Freight Tools Foundation; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation; HP Foundation; IBM Corporation; IHG Foundation; Ingersoll Rand Foundation; The J.M. Smucker Company; Land O’Lakes, Inc.; Mastercard; Morgan Stanley; Neiman Marcus Group; New Balance Foundation; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; Prudential Foundation; SC Johnson; SERVPRO; Southeastern Grocers Home of BI-LO Harveys Winn Dixie; Standard Textile; Toyota; U-Haul International; United Technologies Corporation; The USAA Foundation; U.S. Bank; and Visa.
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 or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.