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Volunteers Deploy from Chicago for Hurricane Matthew



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Red Cross Deploying Volunteers in Emergency Response Vehicle to Coastal Communities for Hurricane Matthew 

Photo Op: Today at 2:00 pm at American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois headquarters, 2200 W. Harrison Street, Chicago, IL 60612

CHICAGO, IL (Oct. 7, 2016) — Two local volunteers are driving to the East Coast today in a Red Cross emergency response vehicle to help communities affected by Hurricane Matthew. Volunteers will be leaving at 2:00 p.m. from the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois Headquarters, 2200 W. Harrison Street, Chicago, IL 60612.

The vehicle will aid in disaster relief to mobilize supplies such as cots, blankets, food and other supplies once it arrives on the East Coast. A total of seven local Red Cross workers have been deployed to Florida and South Carolina and more are expected to be assigned throughout the weekend. 


Thursday night, more than 27,000 people sought refuge in nearly 200 evacuation shelters in FL, GA and SC. 

- Florida 133 shelters with more than 22,000 people

- Georgia: 18 shelters with 2,100 people

- South Carolina: 47 shelters with 2,500 people


Everyone should also download the Red Cross Emergency App to have safety information available on their mobile device, including emergency weather alerts and information on what to do in the case of a hurricane and other emergencies. The app also displays shelter locations. Red Cross apps are available in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to


People should get their disaster kits ready. Include a gallon of water per person - enough for three days, three-day supply of non-perishable food, a flashlight and extra batteries, a hand crank weather radio, first aid kit, medications, personal hygiene items, extra cash, cell phone and chargers, family and emergency contact information, copies of important papers and a map of the area. More details on what to include are available here.


People living in the path of the hurricane should keep informed about weather conditions and listen to the advice of local officials. They should also listen to local media or a NOAA weather radio for critical information from the National Weather Service. Other steps include:

• Check disaster supplies and replace or restock if needed.

• Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind.

• Close doors, windows and hurricane shutters. If you don’t have shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.

• Fill your car’s gas tank.

• Obey evacuation orders and avoid flooded roads and bridges. Turn around, don’t drown.


Hurricane Matthew may force the cancellation of some Red Cross blood drives along the East Coast. The Red Cross is closely monitoring the storm and plans to send additional blood products to areas likely to be impacted by the storm to ensure patient needs continue to be met. Even before the hurricane threat,  there was an urgent need for donors of all blood types, especially type O. Eligible donors in areas unaffected by the storm are urged to schedule an appointment to donate blood or platelets. Appointments can be made to donate blood or platelets by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).


Help people affected by disasters like hurricanes, floods and countless other crises by making a donation to the Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small across the United States. Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

About the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois:

The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois serves 9.5 million people in 21 counties in Northern Illinois including Boone, Bureau, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will and Winnebago. 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 us at or visit us on Twitter at @ChicagoRedCross.