Extensive feeding operation underway with more than 1 million meals and snacks served
WASHINGTON, Monday, November 5, 2012 — As a Nor’easter heads toward the East Coast, the American Red Cross is preparing to respond to this new storm while the massive relief operation to Superstorm Sandy grows by the day.
“In anticipation of the Nor’easter, we are sending in an additional 80,000 blankets and bringing food and relief supplies to the hardest hit areas,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. “We are doing everything possible to get help to where it is needed and are extending our reach into more affected communities every day.”
While access to many areas remains challenging, an extensive feeding operation is underway to get hot meals to residents in New Jersey and all five boroughs of New York, including the hard-hit Staten Island. The Red Cross has fixed feeding sites serving meals today and volunteers are providing mobile distribution of water, meals and snacks in neighborhoods. Shelters are also open where people can escape the cold, receive a hot meal and obtain the latest information on help available to them.
As the Red Cross continues to escalate its massive response operations, more than 5,300 Red Cross workers from all over the country are supporting shelters, providing food and water at fixed sites, and driving through neighborhoods to distribute meals and supplies.The entire Red Cross fleet of response vehicles, more than 320 in total, has been activated to distribute meals, water, snacks and relief supplies.
To date, the Red Cross has helped families and individuals in ten states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico affected by Sandy. The Red Cross has:
- Served more than 1 million meals and snacks
- Provided more than 54,000 overnight stays out of a total of 92,000 provided by all organizations
- Made more than 17,000 health services and emotional support contacts
- Handed out more than 60,000 relief items
HOW TO HELP The response to Sandy is likely to be the biggest Red Cross response in the U.S. in the past five years. Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting http://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 local Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC20013.
GIVE BLOOD Hundreds of Red Cross blood drives have been cancelled due to the storm, representing a loss of thousands of blood and platelet products. The Red Cross is asking people who are eligible, especially in places not affected by the storm, to schedule a time to give blood 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.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.