Superstorm Sandy Update - 11.08.2012

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TOPLINE MESSAGING

As weather conditions improve, the American Red Cross is ramping back up and expanding its large relief operations to provide shelter, hot meals, relief supplies and comfort to people in New Jersey and New York.

  • We ask everyone to be patient as we work to get things operating again now that the storm has passed.
  • Our extensive feeding operation will be back in operation as soon as possible to get hot meals to residents in New Jersey and all five boroughs of New York.
  • As we learn about specific neighborhoods in need, we are immediately putting plans in place to provide people with food, water, relief supplies and comfort.
  • Red Cross volunteers will also be resuming mobile distribution of water, food and relief supplies in neighborhoods in New York and New Jersey as weather and road conditions permit. Visit http://newsroom.redcross.org for current information.
  • 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 Long Island, Staten Island, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Far Rockaway’s and Hoboken.
  • In advance of the cold temperatures, we handed out thousands of ready-to-eat meals and cold weather items for people in New York and New Jersey like blankets, hand and foot warmers, hats and gloves, ponchos and socks.
  • Shelters are open throughout the area where people can rest, get a hot meal and get the latest information on available help.

  • People are encouraged to come to a Red Cross shelter. To find our shelters, download the Red Cross Hurricane app, visit the www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or check local media outlets.
  • In New York City, people can also call 3-1-1 or visit www.nyc.gov for a list of both day and night-time warming centers.
  • The Red Cross has been helping people since before Sandy made landfall and will continue to help for weeks to come as families get back on their feet. This is likely to be the biggest Red Cross response in the U.S. in the past five years. If someone would like to help, they can:

  • Donate by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
  • People can also use the “donate” feature on the free Red Cross Apps to support the Red Cross relief response.
  • Your gift enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected.
  • FULL SANDY RESPONSE

    The Red Cross has mobilized the full resources of the organization across the country to get help to people affected by Sandy.

  • We are making every effort possible to get food and supplies out to the people who need it in New Jersey and all New York boroughs. We have more than 300 Red Cross feeding trucks mobilized as well as rental cars, trucks and any other vehicle we can find to distribute supplies and food in neighborhoods.
  • More than 5,700 Red Cross workers from all 50 states 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.
  • Working in partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention, we have kitchens and fixed feeding sites spread across New York and New Jersey.
  • Last night, about 7,600 people affected by Sandy stayed in more than 110 shelters. [This number includes Red Cross shelters and those operated by other organizations.}
  • FOR REACTIVE USE ONLY: About 3,200 people spent Wednesday night in 46 Red Cross shelters across four states, including New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. .
  • The response to Sandy is massive. So far the Red Cross has helped people in ten states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico affected by Sandy. We have:

  • Served more than 3.3 million meals and snacks
  • Provided more than 29,600 health services and emotional support contacts
  • Handed out more than 124,500 relief items
  • Since Sandy hit, response organizations have provided more than 117,600 shelter stays. The Red Cross has provided more than 63,000 of those stays.
  • Supplemental Talking Points on Key Topics:

    POWER OUTAGE, NO POWER

    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 not recommended.
  • COMMUNITY PARTNERS

    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.