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Red Cross Helping Thousands Impacted by Sandy

Providing Shelter, Food, Water and Relief Supplies

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross has a massive response to Superstorm Sandy underway to help people across multiple states.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090108/RedCrossLOGO )

The Red Cross is providing aid and comfort to thousands and has large relief operations underway in New York and New Jersey, where residents felt Sandy's biggest impact. Shelters and feeding sites are open and emergency vehicles are distributing food, water and relief supplies in these states.

"As we learn about neighborhoods in need, the Red Cross is immediately putting plans in place to provide people with food, water and relief supplies," said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. "This is a challenging time for everyone who has been affected by the storm and we want everyone to know that we are doing everything possible to get help to them as quickly as possible."

MASSIVE RESPONSE Nearly 6,800 people spent Thursday night in almost 100 Red Cross shelters in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio. Thousands more are in their homes without power, water or heat. More than 3,800 Red Cross disaster workers are operating shelters, distributing food and relief supplies in affected communities and providing health services and emotional support.

The Red Cross has:

  • Deployed 12 mobile kitchens capable of making 198,000 meals a day and shipped more than 852,000 ready-to-eat meals to the area. Almost 215,000 meals have been served so far.
  • Activated more than two-thirds of the entire Red Cross fleet of response vehicles, which are beginning to distribute meals, water, snacks and relief supplies in neighborhoods.
  • Mobilized 60 trailers loaded with relief supplies such as personal hygiene items, clean-up kits, rakes, shovels, tarps, dust masks and work gloves
  • Deployed specialized workers who have already provided more than 5,000 health services and emotional support contacts to people affected by Sandy.

The Mexican Red Cross is also helping. Ten delegates are supporting American Red Cross health services activities in New York, focusing on providing health care and first aid services and referrals for clients in Red Cross shelters and emergency aid stations. 

HOW TO HELP The Red Cross response to Sandy is very large, and will be very costly. People can make a financial donation in support of Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. They can also use the "donate" feature on the free Red Cross Apps for mobile devices to support this relief response. Contributions may also be sent to someone's local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

PLEASE GIVE BLOOD More than 360 Red Cross blood drives have been cancelled due to the storm, representing a loss of as many as 12,000 blood and platelet products. People who are eligible, especially in places not affected by the storm, are asked to schedule a donation appointment in the days and weeks to come.

To schedule a donation time or get more information about giving blood, people can visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To give blood, someone must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health. Donors should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID with them.  Some states allow 16-year-olds to give with parental consent.

LET LOVED ONES KNOW People can let their loved ones know how they are by using the "I'm Safe" button on the Red Cross Hurricane App, or registering on the Red Cross Safe and Well website. The Hurricane App, which also contains safety tips on what people should do after the storm, can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. To register on Safe and Well, people can visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

RED CROSS SHELTERS To find a Red Cross shelter, people can download the Red Cross Hurricane app, visit the Red Cross web site, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or check local media outlets.

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 join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

SOURCE American Red Cross

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