The rain has finally stopped falling in Texas and Louisiana. Some people are cleaning up their flooded homes, while others are still facing catastrophic flooding and evacuations. The American Red Cross is there, providing food, shelter and comfort to people affected by the devastating storm. We continue to operate shelters, serve meals and provide critical relief supplies in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.
There is another powerful hurricane in the Atlantic, Hurricane Irma. The path is still uncertain, but people should keep an eye on this storm and take steps to get prepared now. People should also download the free Red Cross Emergency App to select up to 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts on their mobile device and be able to find a shelter. The content includes expert guidance on what to do before, during and after different emergencies or disasters from home fires to hurricanes. All Red Cross apps can be found in smartphone app stores by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/apps. More than 23 million hurricane and flood alerts have been issued through Red Cross mobile apps since August 23, well surpassing the 6 million issued for Superstorm Sandy. The apps provide shelter locations and real-time information so people can help protect themselves and their loved-ones.
Red Cross disaster workers are also responding out west to the numerous wildfires in Oregon, Montana, California and Washington State, where almost 80 people spent the night in shelters. There are as many as 130 wildfires burning according to the USDA Forest Service.
How Your Donations Help Our Harvey Response
The Red Cross is using the generous donations from the American people to provide shelter, food, comfort and emergency support. Our work is just beginning – we use financial donations to help people recover and get back on their feet in the challenging weeks and months ahead. Donations pay for Red Cross shelters and the volunteers who are supporting them. Last night, about 33,000 people sought refuge in 284 Red Cross and partner shelters across Texas. The Red Cross is also assisting the Louisiana state government with an emergency shelter which hosted nearly 1,300 people last night.Donations pay to transport more than 3,000 disaster workers to Texas, whether by plane, bus or car. An additional 450 workers are traveling to Texas now. Donations pay for shelter supplies like cots, blankets and hygiene kits are on the ground for more than 85,000 people. Donations pay for the more than 690,000 meals and snacks we have served with our partners since the storm began. Donations pay for the more than 150,000 ready-to-eat meals currently on the ground.Donations pay for the gas and equipment to power our feeding efforts. Trailers of supplies to support 16 mobile kitchens are on the ground, each able to produce 10,000 meals a day.Donations pay for the emergency response vehicles- more than 215 on the ground - activated to help deliver meals and relief supplies. Donations pay to support the mental health and health services professionals who support and care for evacuees – some 21,000 contacts have already been made.Donations pay for relief items like diapers and comfort kits that contain deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other hygiene items for people forced from their homes. We’ve distributed 30,000 so far Cleaning and relief supplies to support Donations pay for cleaning and relief supplies – so far, we have enough to support more than 35,000 homes are on the ground, with an additional 5,000 on the way. Donations also pay to provide warehouses, technology – and the people that make all of this help possible for Hurricane Harvey.
Massive disasters like Hurricane Harvey create more needs than any one organization can meet on their own. The Red Cross is working very closely with the entire response community – government agencies, other non-profit groups, faith-based organizations, area businesses and others – to coordinate emergency relief efforts and get help to people as quickly as possible. Some of the partners we are coordinating with include Americorps NCCC, Church of the Brethren Children’s Disaster Services, Save the Children, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and Islamic Relief USA.
Help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. If you are having issues with text donations, please visit redcross.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS to donate.