Wednesday, November 7

Reeling in the Aftermath-- Red Cross Responds!

The Red Cross Responds To The East Coast
View our slideshow of pictures from Superstorm Sandy relief efforts here:

Reeling in the Aftermath

Superstorm Sandy has made her mark of destruction along the East Coast. Though the storm has dissipated, the devastation continues to mount. In New Jersey, homes and businesses remain underwater in many hard-hit coastal communities, with 20 percent of the population in Hoboken, N.J., unable to return to their homes. Damaged gas lines have sparked fires, and downed power lines continue to pose a risk to those emerging from their homes after the storm.

In New York City, hundreds of thousands of residents in lower Manhattan remain without power and the lower levels of building have been flooded. The city’s public transportation systems were crippled immediately after the storm and are just beginning to resume partial serve after days of closure. Several tunnels connecting to the city to surrounding regions remain flooded and inaccessible. Some New York City hospitals were forced to transfer hundreds of patients after losing power during the storm. Airports in the region were closed and train service suspended, with flights and train service beginning to resume in some areas. And as of November 1, there are 5.6 million customers without power in the affected states, with a projected wait of up to 10 days for power to be restored.

Relief on the Ground

The aftermath of Sandy is staggering, but the Red Cross was ready to administer a swift and compassionate response across much of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. We have launched large-scale operations in Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and West Virginia, with more than 5,400 trained disaster workers offering shelter, food and comforting words to those in need. As of November 1, the Red Cross had opened more than 250 shelters, hosing more than 57,200 overnight stays in affected states, providing them with a warm bed and a safe place to spend the night. As of November 5, nearly 1.6 million meals and snacks have been served. 12 kitchens have been deployed to affected areas with the total daily meal capacity to serve 198,000 meals. Additionally, we have 334,600 ready-to-eat meals dedicated to this relief operation.

The Red Cross has distributed nearly 2,400 relief items such as cleanup kits containing gloves, tarps and trash bags for those trying to salvage their belongings, as well as hygiene kits with toothpaste, shampoo, soap and other basic necessities for evacuees who had no time to grab the essentials. More than 323 Red Cross emergency response vehicles have been activated and have arrived or are in route to affected regions, ready to circulate and hand out snacks and relief supplies.

We have provided 23,900 emotional support and health consultations, providing people with the prescriptions and eyeglass prescriptions they need as well as offering emotional comfort for those struggling to cope in the storm’s wake.

The Red Cross is partnering with the Southern Baptist Convention on mass feeding operations as well as coordinating relief operations with the National Baptist Convention USA, NAACP, AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps/NCCC, Children’s Disaster Services, Islamic Relief USA, Labor Unions, Latter Day Saints, Medical Reserve Corp, Lott Carey, and Save the Children.

We will continue to shelter, feed and comfort those affected by this treacherous storm as the floodwaters recede and power is restored in communities. To echo President Obama’s October 31 remarks from Red Cross Headquarters in Washington, D.C.: “We are standing behind you, and we are going to do everything we can to help you get back on your feet.”

American Red Cross Disaster Relief

As the nation’s largest independent, nonprofit humanitarian organization, the American Red Cross is there, every day, helping people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. No other entity provides such depth of services to communities in the United States and around the world.

Disasters Across the Country

Most people know the Red Cross for its response to the larger disasters like the hurricanes, floods and wildfires that grab the headlines—but the Red Cross must be ready for every disaster, regardless of its size or the media attention it attracts. An average of nearly 70,000 disasters per year—including single-house or apartment home fires, hazardous material spills and transportation accidents—are handled by the Red Cross.

The Red Cross spends an average of more than $360 million each year to prepare for and respond to disasters.

More than 60,000 Red Cross volunteers put your donation to work running shelters, delivering relief supplies, setting up communications infrastructure, providing medical care or emotional support and assistance in developing individualized plans for effective steps toward recovery.

So that relief efforts are immediate and effective, your gift helps the Red Cross maintain the following infrastructure:
  • More than 61,000 pre-identified shelter locations
  • Resources to provide one million meals per day
  • Resources to shelter 350,000 people per day
  • Thousands of licensed medical and mental health professionals
  • More than 320 mobile response vehicles
  • A National Disaster Operations Center in Washington, D.C.
Those in need turn to the Red Cross in their darkest hours because they know they can rely on that trusted symbol of disaster relief to see them through the recovery. Your donation helps us fulfill this promise.

Thank You

Every service the American Red Cross provides begins with a donation. You can help people affected by disasters like hurricanes, floods, fires and tornadoes, as well as countless crises across the country, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. To make a donation, visit or call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). Contributions may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
To learn more about the work of the American Red Cross in the U.S. and around the world, please visit 

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