LOS ANGELES, September 4, 2019 — The American Red Cross Los Angeles Region has deployed 28 local volunteers to help residents in the path of Hurricane Dorian as it continues to move along the U.S. coast. The American Red Cross is working around the clock to support communities from Florida to North Carolina still under evacuation orders.
The volunteers are en route or already in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina and will focus on providing safe shelter, food, emergency relief supplies, emotional support, health services and recovery assistance.
“I deployed because I wanted to help and learn how the Red Cross gets communities ready before a major storm,” said 15-year-long volunteer, Wil Master. “We don’t have that luxury in Los Angeles, especially in earthquake country, preparedness is the key to survival and rapid recovery.”
Dorian has already devastated the Bahamas, leaving behind catastrophic damage. According to preliminary damage reports, more than 13,000 houses are believed to have been damaged or destroyed— equivalent to about 45 percent of all dwellings on Abaco and Grand Bahama.
In the U.S., evacuation shelters are open, and the Red Cross is working with local officials and partners to provide support. On Tuesday night, more than 9,000 people stayed in 140 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. This included nearly 7,070 people in 111 shelters in Florida; some 1,631 people in 14 Red Cross shelters in Georgia; and 603 people in 15 Red Cross shelters in South Carolina.
In advance of Dorian, the Red Cross mobilized some 110 emergency response vehicles and 104 tractor-trailer loads full of relief supplies, including cots, blankets and 63,000 ready-to-eat meals. More than 1,900 trained Red Cross responders from all over the country, including Los Angeles, are helping to support relief efforts.
To assist local blood centers in Florida, the Red Cross sent approximately 350 blood products to ensure patients have access to lifesaving blood as hurricane warnings and evacuations keep many from giving. The Red Cross also pre-positioned additional blood products and stocked our hospitals in areas of the Southeast likely to be impacted by the storm this week.
HOW YOU CAN HELP You can make a difference in the lives of people impacted by Hurricane Dorian. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word DORIAN to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster. This includes providing food, shelter, relief supplies, emotional support, recovery planning and other assistance.
PLEASE GIVE BLOOD Hurricane Dorian has forced the cancellation of nearly two dozen Red Cross blood drives and donation centers in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina resulting in more than 550 uncollected blood and platelet donations. We urge eligible individuals in unaffected areas to give blood or platelets to ensure a sufficient blood supply for patients. The Red Cross currently has an urgent need for blood donations following a summer shortage. In addition to cancelled blood drives, we anticipate low blood donor turnout in and around affected areas due to poor weather conditions this week. Schedule an appointment today by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 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 redcross.org/la or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossLA or @CruzRojaLA.