Oregon Helps East Coast Residents Get Back on Their Feet After Superstorm Sandy


It has been one month since Superstorm Sandy made landfall, wreaking havoc in ten eastern states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In the past 30 days, 97 Oregon Red Cross volunteers joined 14,400 trained disaster workers deployed to the East Coast to help those affected by the storm. In addition, two iconic Northwest clothing manufacturers stepped up to help residents in New Jersey and New York get back on their feet. Oregon-based KEEN Footwear and Columbia Sportswear donated a combined total of 11,700 pair of shoes to Red Cross relief efforts. KEEN added 2,500 sets of socks to the shipment, which reached warehouses on Nov. 14. The items were distributed the following week by teams of Red Cross volunteers and staff as well as Red Cross partner organizations.

“This is the largest relief effort that the Red Cross has undertaken in more than five years,” said Maree Wacker, chief executive officer for the American Red Cross Oregon Region. “Thanks to the generous support of companies such as KEEN and Columbia Sportswear, we have been able to provide supplies and comfort to thousands of people.” According to Wacker, the donated shoes will help storm survivors make their way through the extensive debris surrounding what remains of their neighborhoods and enable residents to participate in clean-up efforts.

To date, the Red Cross has served more than 7.4 million meals and snacks, and provided more than 89,000 health services and emotional support contacts to people affected by Sandy. The Red Cross has also distributed more than 5.2 million relief items, and activated more than 300 response vehicles. Since Sandy hit, response organizations have provided more than 153,000 overnight stays in shelters. The Red Cross has provided more than 77,600 of those stays.

Since Oct. 26, the Red Cross has deployed disaster workers from all 50 states who continue to actively work with communities to determine unmet needs. One of these needs is helping survivors navigate the recovery process by getting them get in touch with the people and programs, and providing clean up supplies as they return to their homes.