Weeks after Hurricane Irma devastated parts of Florida as a Category Four storm, communities are beginning to recover and the American Red Cross is shifting focus to support these longer-term efforts.
The Red Cross is working with a large team of partners to help residents move through the recovery process by connecting them to critical services and resources they need to get back on their feet. Communities in many areas are slowly starting to adjust to a new normal. As such, the need for Red Cross emergency services has steadily declined. Shelter populations have steadily decreased, federal, state and nonprofit programs are supporting housing solutions, and people are looking to establish a semblance of normalcy in their lives. The Red Cross will shift focus to help support long-term recovery efforts as the need for emergency shelter, food and relief supplies dwindles. The Red Cross is working with partners throughout Florida to find long-term recovery help for people with disabilities and access and functional needs.
The Red Cross is working with a large team of partners to help residents move through the recovery process by connecting them to critical services and resources they need to get back on their feet. Red Cross caseworkers are connecting with people individually, providing them an opportunity to share their needs, ask questions, and—for those who qualify—obtain financial assistance. Red Cross caseworkers are trained to help people create recovery plans and connect people with the services and resources they need. For those who qualify, the Red Cross is providing limited financial assistance to those who had major damage or whose homes were destroyed.
We urge people to apply to FEMA for assistance (),The Red Cross provides a relatively small amount of assistance compared to what is made available by the federal government – to apply for FEMA assistance, access disasterassistance.gov. For those who do not qualify for financial assistance, Red Cross caseworkers can help to create recovery plans and locate assistance from other agencies and community partners. The Red Cross is close to reaching the majority of residents who need extra recovery help - more than 11,000 individual cases have been opened, reaching more than 37,000 people. Registration for Red Cross casework and financial assistance will close on October 27. People who haven’t been able to connect with a Red Cross caseworker should contact their local chapter for assistance.
The response and recovery from a hurricane of this size takes time and support from many organizations. The Red Cross has collaborated with government and community partners, as well as businesses and faith-based organizations, at every step to provide help to those who need it most. The Red Cross is committed to identifying and tailoring support and assistance to meet community needs. This work will take place in coordination with local long-term recovery committees and community leaders to help ensure that the needs of Irma survivors are met.
Hurricane Irma (Continental U.S. Only) Overnight, 48 people stayed in one emergency shelter in Florida. Along with our partners, we have served more than 1.5 million (1,582,000) meals and snacks across six states.We’ve distributed more than 1 million (1,073,000) relief items like diapers, bug spray, cleaning supplies, coolers, and comfort kits containing deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other hygiene items across six states.Red Cross volunteers have provided more than 52,000 mental health and health services to support and care for those affected across six states. To help people recover and get back on their feet, the Red Cross has opened more than 11,000 cases, reaching more than 37,000 people across Florida.
How to Help
The need for blood is constant. The Red Cross depends on generous volunteer blood donors to provide lifesaving blood for those in need – each and every day – not only during times of disaster. We are grateful to our dedicated donors who roll up a sleeve to help their fellow American citizen.
Help people affected by Hurricane Irma by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word IRMA to 90999 to make a $10 donation.