ATLANTA, GA - September 5, 2019 — As Georgians breathe a sigh of relief with the passing of Hurricane Dorian, the Red Cross is shifting gears, too, from helping people prepare and stay safe during the storm to helping them recover from possible impact suffered in coastal communities.
Last night, 2,038 evacuees spent the night in 13 Red Cross shelters in the state, finding a safe place to sleep, hot meals and snacks, and health and emotional support provided by hundreds of caring volunteers. This afternoon, with evacuation orders now lifted by Governor Kemp, many are boarding busses that will take them home. The Red Cross and emergency partners will continue to be there for them in local communities to help with recovery resources.
TIPS FOR RETURNING HOME
Tips for what to do after a hurricane can be found by downloading the Red Cross Emergency App, visiting redcross.org or clicking on the Hurricane Returning Home Checklist.
RED CROSS DORIAN RELIEF UPDATE
On Wednesday night, more than 6,900 people stayed in 116 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters in the Southeast. 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.
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).
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.