Ten years ago, Superstorm Sandy devastated homes, communities and families across the east coast including in the Greater New York Region. The American Red Cross helped thousands of people after the storm, providing food, shelter, supplies, case management support and more across our three chapters in New York City, Metro New York North and Long Island.
We are grateful to every Red Cross team member, volunteer, donor, partner, community member and more who helped to deliver help and hope after this devastating storm.
Dozens of Red Crossers gathered at the Emergency Operations Center at Red Cross regional headquarters in Manhattan to prepare for the storm.Many would remain on-site, sleeping in a staff shelter on the 4th floor for many days and weeks after the storm.
At the Middletown Warehouse, logistics volunteers JJ Finn and Thomas Crump prepared emergency response vehicles, as well as trucks and supply vehicles, with cots, blankets, snacks and more to open shelters and support communities.
Video: Watch logistics volunteers prepare trucks and vehicles for the storm
Across the Region, the Red Cross opened and supported dozens of shelters to provide a safe place for people to stay who had been forced from their homes by widespread flooding and power outages. When Halloween arrived a few days after Superstorm Sandy, our volunteers helped children in the shelter celebrate, by planning a Halloween party with face painting, pumpkins and a parade. And candy, of course
As soon as the storm passed, Red Cross volunteers fanned out across the region to complete damage assessment, traveling to communities hardest hit by the wind, rain and flooding.
Daily, emergency response vehicles visited communities to distribute meals and supplies to families in their neighborhoods. The Red Cross also worked with local food banks to distribute food boxes with several days of supplies to residents in need.
After a storm of this magnitude, there is no one agency that can meet every need of every resident. Community partnerships were vital to delivering help to impacted communities after Superstorm Sandy.
Thanks to the generosity of supporters, the Red Cross was able to provide funding to local nonprofits with strong community ties to fund critical recovery services across Sandy devastated communities.
This funding supported the repair and rebuilding of thousands of homes; the training, housing and deployment of thousands of volunteers; and casework,
mental health and health services, financial assistance and financial and legal counseling to households in need.
Donations also supported the unmet needs roundtable, which provided several forms of assistance, including emergency cash grants, sustainable recovery grants, furniture and building supplies, and more, to Sandy survivors who had complex unmet needs. The final grantees in New York City received funds in 2017.
Video: Profile of two families recovering from Sandy who benefited from financial support made possible by New York Disaster Interfaith Service (NYDIS) and the American Red Cross
In addition, unique projects including supporting families with preparing their homes for remediation and construction were provided. Hundreds of volunteers, corporations and community organizations joined in days of service projects to support this effort, wearing clean up suits and carrying bags of debris.
The Red Cross is grateful for all the organizations we partnered with who were equipped to carry out specialized activities geared toward meeting these needs. We are proud of our ongoing efforts to support communities after disasters big and small through the VOAD and COAD networks.
A critical part of the American Red Cross recovery efforts after Superstorm Sandy was to teach preparedness skills that help strengthen resilience in the face of future disasters.
This work continues today as the Red Cross trains over 20,000 adults and children each year in how to prepare for emergencies big and small. It also includes the Sound the Alarm program, which has installed over 190,000 free smoke alarms across the Greater NY Region since 2014.
Ten years after Superstorm Sandy, large disasters like hurricanes, floods, wildfires and extreme heat are regularly impacting communities across the country, resulting in more people displaced, vulnerable and in need of support.
As communities across the country continue to experience more extreme weather events, the Red Cross is providing critical support on a near-constant basis to help families struggling to cope.
Our work to respond is augmented by the RCView system. RCView is a collection of applications used to collect, analyze, visualize and share operational information. The data collected can be used to create and share maps, dashboards, track and report shelter locations, and share more information to help guide service delivery.
Millions of U.S. households are at risk of being forced from their homes with many facing the threat of poverty due to the dramatic increase in billion-dollar disasters, which have nearly doubled in the last five years compared to the previous five years.
We invite you to help prepare yourself and your community for any emergency by taking three simple steps: 1) Get a kit. 2) Make a plan. 3) Be informed. Individuals can download the free Red Cross Emergency app or text GETEMERGENCY to 90999 to get lifesaving preparedness information and weather alerts in the palm of their hand.
For more information about our work after Superstorm Sandy, please visit www.redcross.org/sandy.