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Red Cross Ramps Up Relief Efforts Again in Wake of Nor’easter

Red Cross Media Contact: (571) 439-1665

NEW JERSEY. Thursday, November 8, 2012. — With the nor’easter moving out of New Jersey the American Red Cross is building up its relief operation once more.

“Now that this nor’easter is headed out, we’re eager to get our volunteers back into neighborhoods to help people who have been hit so hard by these storms,” said Charley Shimanski, head of Disaster Services at the Red Cross.

The Red Cross is working as fast as possible to resume its extensive feeding operation and get hot meals to residents in New Jersey. As weather and road conditions improve, Red Cross workers are out in neighborhoods again in 105 response vehicles providing food, water, relief supplies and comfort to residents. Fixed service locations remain in place as well. For a current list of Red Cross fixed service locations and vehicle routes, click here. Since Hurricane Sandy hit, the Red Cross has served more than 3.3 million meals and snacks to those affected by the storm.

Thousands of people are still without power in the region and shelters are open so that people can rest, get a hot meal and get the latest information on available help. Last night in the state of New Jersey, nearly 3,400 people stayed in 65 shelters operated by the Red Cross and other organizations. There are several ways to find a shelter: go to; download the Red Cross Hurricane app; call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767); or check local media outlets.

Even as services resume after the nor’easter, the Red Cross is getting ready for a large outreach operation this weekend to provide disaster relief items to families across New Jersey. The Red Cross has been helping people in this area since before Sandy made landfall and will continue to help for weeks to come as families get back on their feet. The organization is committed to helping the residents of New Jersey recover from this disaster.

More than 5,700 Red Cross volunteers from all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, and Saipan are supporting shelters, providing food and water at fixed sites, and driving through neighborhoods to distribute meals and supplies. About 90 percent of these workers are volunteers. Approximately 2,299 of these volunteers are in the state of New Jersey. Red Cross volunteers will continue to provide shelter assistance, feeding, and comfort as long as the need continues.

With continued power outages in the New Jersey area, the Red Cross reminds residents to stay safe by following these safety tips:

If you have no power and are staying in your home, you should:

  • Gather everyone, including pets, in one room - a small, well-insulated room with few windows. A room facing south is warmer. Block this room off and put cardboard and blankets over the windows at night to minimize heat loss. If you have hardwood floors, add a carpet or blanket.
  • Dress in thin, loose layers instead of bulky garments. Wear a hat, gloves, scarf and heavy socks. Wrap yourself in blankets if needed. Use hand and feet warmers if available.
  • At bedtime, layer blankets over you. Wear layers of clothing and a hat.
  • Check on your elderly neighbors.
  • Keep tuned to the news - hopefully on your battery operated radio.
  • The use of barbeque grills and hibachis as alternative heat sources is dangerous and is not recommended.
  • With lower nighttime temperatures, many people may consider things like kerosene heaters or fireplaces to stay warm.

  • Place the heater on a level, hard and non-flammable surface in the home.
  • Keep potential sources of fuel like paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves or fireplaces.
  • Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended. Turn off space heaters and make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before going to bed or leaving home.
  • Keep children and pets away from space heaters.

    This is a huge response, and the Red Cross is working closely with government and partner organizations to coordinate this effort.

  • We are working with more than 50 national partner organizations and have more than 640 partner volunteers deployed in support of the response.
  • For example, we are coordinating with Church of the Brethren Children’s Disaster Services and Save the Children to support the needs of children in our shelters; and we’re working with HOPE worldwide and Points of Light to coordinate the work of community volunteers.
  • HOW TO HELP The response to Sandy is very large and very costly and the Red Cross needs the public’s help now. People can make a financial donation by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone’s local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

    BLOOD DONATIONS Thanks to an outpouring of support from the public following Sandy, the Red Cross blood supply is currently sufficient to meet patient needs. The Red Cross appreciates all the organizations that have stepped up to either host special blood drives or reschedule those that were canceled due to Sandy. However, blood donations do tend to decline during the upcoming holiday season.

    To schedule a donation time or get more information about giving blood, people can visit 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.


    If someone needs to find a shelter, they can download the Red Cross Hurricane app, visit the “Find a Shelter” page on the Red Cross web site, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or check local media outlets. People can let their loved ones know how they are by using the “I’m Safe” button on the Red Cross Hurricane App which can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. People can also register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website to let loved ones know they are okay. To register, visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

    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 or join our blog at