The American Red Cross has launched a wide-ranging relief effort to help people devastated by three historic, back-to-back hurricanes – Harvey, Irma and Maria. Thousands of Red Cross disaster workers have been helping folks impacted by the storms that devastated parts of Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Those living in the Dakotas Region are well-acquainted with the lasting effects of flooding, and stepped up to help in a big way. As of October 10, more than 115 Red Cross volunteers from North Dakota, South Dakota, and Northwest Minnesota have been deployed to one of these disaster relief operations – more than ever before. Many said they were helped by Red Cross volunteers in their time of need, and this was an opportunity to give back.
Red Cross Dakotas Region volunteers by the numbers:81 deployed to Texas for Hurricane Harvey1 deployed to Louisiana for Hurricane Harvey1 deployed to the U.S. Virgin Islands for Hurricane Irma27 deployed to Florida for Hurricane Irma6 deployed to Georgia for Hurricane Irma10 deployed to South Carolina for Hurricane Irma3 deployed to Puerto Rico for Hurricane Maria2 deployed for additional Hurricane Irma support8 deployed to California for Wildfires
Many of the region’s long-time volunteers were the first to head south. Several of them have returned home to recuperate, and have deployed a second time. A good majority of those who deployed are newer volunteers, who received extensive training so they could help with the 2017 hurricane relief efforts.
As dozens of people head south to help with hurricane relief, dozens more have stepped up right here at home. Day-to-day operations at the local Red Cross offices must continue, and other emergencies, like home fires, continue. This means our local volunteers and disaster responders are busier than ever.
Red Cross relief workers, both deployed and at home, share the common goal of wanting to make a difference in this time of crisis. As part of the world’s largest humanitarian organization, volunteers say their lives have been forever changed. The volunteer experience has left them humbled and thankful - cherishing the lasting relationships that have been formed.
Hurricane Response Efforts (as of October 16, 2017):Provided more than 1.3 million overnight stays in emergency shelters across 8 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. That’s more overnight shelter stays than the past 5 years combined.Served more than 7.1 million meals and snacks, and more than 3.5 million relief items to people in need.Provided more than 190,900 mental health and health services to support and care for those affectedA total of nearly 16,000 trained disaster workers, 91 percent of them volunteers, have been mobilized to support hurricane relief efforts. In addition, nearly 6,000 spontaneous local volunteers have worked alongside Red Cross in Texas and Florida.
Thank you to all who have volunteered their time to help others in need. Thank you to our community and government partners, and all who have donated financially to support Red Cross disaster relief. Red Cross relief efforts for hurricanes, wildfires, and other disasters across the country will continue for months to come.
Make a financial donation. Learn more about becoming a Red Cross volunteer.