WASHINGTON, D.C., September 5, 2019 — As Hurricane Dorian continues to move along the U.S. coast, the American Red Cross is working around the clock to help people still under evacuation orders.
Millions of people live in areas that could be impacted by wind, rain, flooding, and a high storm surge from Dorian. Today, more than 2,500 trained Red Cross responders from all over the country are supporting relief efforts and coordinating with partners to help people seeking refuge in hurricane evacuation centers in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas – and we will stay on the ground for as long as needed.
On Wednesday night, more than 6,900 people stayed in 116 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters. To date, the Red Cross and community organizations have provided more than 31,000 cumulative overnight stays and served more than 45,000 meals and snacks for people affected by Dorian. 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 TO FIND A SHELTER If you evacuated for Hurricane Dorian, do not return until told it is safe to do so by local authorities. The Red Cross urges people in the path of Hurricane Dorian to follow directions from local officials and listen to local news for the latest updates on the storm as the storm moves north in the coming days.
Anyone who needs a safe place to go can find information for open Red Cross shelters in our free Red Cross Emergency App. Download the app by searching “American Red Cross” in your app store or by going to redcross.org/apps.
Evacuation centers are intended to get as many people out of harm's way as quickly as possible, and some of them may not have cots, food, running water or electricity, as they are meant to safely house people for about 72 hours until weather conditions improve. In time, and if needed, local officials may transition evacuation centers into emergency shelters after the storm passes.
People who plan to stay in a Red Cross shelter should bring prescription medications, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, other comfort items and important documents. Don’t forget to bring any special items for children, such as diapers, formula, and toys, or for family members who have unique needs.
Red Cross shelters are open to everyone in need, regardless of race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or citizenship status. All disaster assistance is free. We don’t require people to show any kind of identification to enter a shelter — just their name and pre-disaster address.
More information on hurricane safety and preparedness is available here.
BAHAMAS RELIEF EFFORTS UNDERWAY Hurricane Dorian has already devastated the Bahamas, leaving behind catastrophic damage and affecting some 76,000 people. 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 Islands.
Getting relief to people in hard-to-reach places is the number one priority, and with access to the battered islands slowly beginning to open up, the International Federation (IFRC) of the Red Cross and the Bahamas Red Cross are responding. A rapid assessment and response team is moving in to focus on emergency shelter and urgent needs. Red Cross volunteers and staff will also distribute meals and food rations to people who may have gone without food for days, before shifting their focus to distributing cash grants.
Bahamas Red Cross volunteers were on the ground before the storm with pre-positioned relief supplies—such as tarps, hygiene items, jerrycans and hand-crank cell phone chargers. More relief supplies are being loaded at an international logistics hub in Panama and will move soon. Damaged roads and telecommunications infrastructure present challenges, but Red Cross teams are working around the clock to respond to this devastating storm.
In the Bahamas, there is a need for sustained and significant international support. The American Red Cross will be making a financial contribution to help support those affected in the Bahamas. The American Red Cross will also work with our partners to help support people arriving in the U.S. from the Bahamas.
LOOKING FOR A LOVED ONE? People concerned about US Citizens traveling in Bahamas should contact the US State Department Office of Overseas Citizens Services at 1-888-407-4747.
HOW YOU CAN HELP You can make a difference in the lives of people impacted by Hurricane Dorian in both the U.S. and the Bahamas. 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. In the U.S., this includes providing food, shelter, relief supplies, emotional support, recovery planning and other assistance. In the Bahamas, the American Red Cross will be making a financial contribution and partnering with the IFRC and the Bahamas Red Cross to help the islands recover.
For those interested in helping people specifically in the Bahamas, we ask that they write “Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas” in the memo line of a check and mail it to their local Red Cross chapter with the completed the donation form at redcross.org/donate.
PLEASE GIVE BLOOD Hurricane Dorian has forced the cancellation of approximately 70 Red Cross blood drives and donation centers in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia resulting in more than 1,800 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).
CORPORATIONS, FOUNDATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS HELP The generous donations from members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and the Disaster Responder Program enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters big and small, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur and help families during the recovery process.
ADGP $1 Million members are: American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Anthem Foundation; Bank of America; Caterpillar Foundation; The Clorox Company; Costco Wholesale; Delta Air Lines; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; The Home Depot Foundation; LDS Charities; Lilly Endowment Inc.; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; Mazda North American Operations; Microsoft Corp.; Nationwide Foundation; State Farm; Verizon; VSP Global; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; and The Walt Disney Company.
ADGP $500,000 members are: Altria Group; AmazonSmile; Aon; BMW of North America; Capital One; Cisco Foundation; Citi Foundation; CSX; Darden Foundation; Delta Dental Community Care Foundation; Discover; Energy Transfer/Sunoco Foundation; Ford Motor Company; Fox Corporation; General Motors; Grainger; HCA Healthcare; Humble Bundle; IBM Corporation; International Paper; The J.M. Smucker Company; Johnson Controls Foundation; LHC Group; Merck Foundation; Mondelēz International Foundation; New Balance Foundation; Nissan North America; PepsiCo Foundation; Procter & Gamble Company; PwC Charitable Foundation; Sands Cares; Southwest Airlines; Target; The TJX Companies, Inc.; Toyota; United Airlines; UPS; The USAA Foundation, Inc.; The Wawa Foundation; and Wells Fargo.
Disaster Responder Program members are: 7-Eleven Cares Foundation; Adobe; AdvoCare International L.P.; American Express; Assurant; AstraZeneca; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; Avangrid Foundation; AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company; The Ball Foundation; Barclays; CarMax; Choice Hotels International; The Coca-Cola Company; Consumer Cellular; Cox Enterprises; DICK’S Sporting Goods; Duke Energy; Duke Realty; Edison International; Entergy Corporation; Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation; GE Foundation; Harbor Freight Tools Foundation, LLC; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation; HP Foundation; Ingersoll Rand Foundation; John Deere Foundation; The Kraft Heinz Company Foundation; Land O’Lakes, Inc.; Mastercard; Medtronic Foundation; Neiman Marcus Group; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; Old Dominion Freight Line; The Pfizer Foundation; Prudential Financial; Rodan + Fields Prescription for Change Foundation; Ryder System, Inc.; Security Finance’s Lending Hand Foundation; Southeastern Grocers Home of BI-LO Harveys Winn Dixie; The Starbucks Foundation; Tata Consultancy Services; TD Ameritrade; U-Haul International; United Technologies Corporation; U.S. Bank; and Visa.
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 or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.