The American Red Cross is responding across multiple states as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast.
The large and powerful storm could affect as many as 60 million people in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, and the Red Cross has workers and relief supplies in place to provide help to people in the path of Sandy.
The effects of the storm are already being felt with 128 people spending Saturday night in Red Cross shelters in North Carolina and Virginia. Red Cross workers are preparing to open and support more shelters today as the storm moves northward.
“This storm is dangerous and it’s critical to follow the advice of local emergency officials. If people are told to evacuate, they need to do it,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. “The Red Cross has shelters open and will be opening more throughout the day. Hundreds of disaster workers are ready with relief supplies and emergency vehicles in place to help.”
To find a 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. They should also register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website, a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies. To register, visit http://www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). This site also connects with the Twitter and Facebook accounts of users.
Almost 100 Red Cross emergency vehicles are mobilizing to distribute meals and relief supplies after the storm passes. Thousands of ready-to-eat meals and relief supplies such as cots and blankets are also being sent into the region.
HOW TO HELP “This will be a large, costly relief response and we need help now,” Shimanski said. “People can help by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief online, by text or by phone.”
Donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. To donate, people can visit http://www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. 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.