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Six Weeks After Irma the Red Cross Continues to Help in Florida

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The American Red Cross continues to serve communities throughout Florida impacted by Hurricane Irma six weeks ago. As of Monday, October 16, the American Red Cross -- including over 6,700 Red Cross workers from across the country -- has provided more than 305,800 overnight stays, facilitated the delivery of over 1.2 million meals and snacks and distributed more than 1 million emergency relief supplies such as bleach, water, and clean-up kits in Florida. This could not have been accomplished without the collaboration and support of our government and nongovernmental partners.   

During a disaster, Red Cross shelters function as a temporary sanctuary for people who have been forced to leave their homes. Shelter residents receive meals and a place to rest, as well as health services and emotional support. Residents may have suffered serious losses including damage or destruction of their homes, as well as the possibility that they suffered personal injury and/or even the death of loved ones. The shelter is their temporary home and the Red Cross makes every effort to make people feel safe and welcome.

Even as the Red Cross was providing emergency relief such food and shelter, trained Red Cross caseworkers began helping individuals and families create their recovery plans. More than 9,000 families -- including more than 30,700 individuals -- have met with Red Cross caseworkers to ensure that they can access help to get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

Disaster recovery is often measured in months and years; and the Red Cross is there to provide hope, comfort and one-on-one support during that time. What often takes only seconds to destroy will take months or years for people to recover from and rebuild, and the Red Cross will be there. Big disasters create more needs than any one organization can meet. The Red Cross works closely with government and community partners to coordinate efforts. The Red Cross work is never done as we help people, communities, and organizations to prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters big and small throughout Florida.

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.

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