Red Cross Relief in CT and RI Evolves; Eyes on the Future
Work in NY and NJ Continues Ramping Up, New Storm on Horizon
FARMINGTON, CONN., Monday, November 7, 2012 — Several days after Sandy struck Connecticut and Rhode Island, local relief work continues, but the focus has shifted from shelter to recovery. “While shelters have closed and immediate relief needs are largely met, we continue casework to help affected families recover,” said American Red Cross spokesperson Paul Shipman. “We know that this will be a long road back for many people and we are helping to get people on a solid footing and link them with resources to help get back to a routine.”
During the Red Cross response in Connecticut and Rhode Island, the American Red Cross saw more than 3,000 overnight stays at nearly 50 shelters. “We served more than 100,000 meals and snacks, both at our shelters and delivered on mobile feeding routes in locations across both states, but especially in those communities along the coast that really took hits,” Shipman said. He added that the Red Cross also delivered nearly 1,000 clean up kits.
Red Cross caseworkers continue meeting with people who need help and information. “We are answering questions and helping to link affected families with information and organizations that can assist with issues related to long-term re-housing, food assistance and more,” Shipman said. Since the storm hit, the Red Cross has made nearly 2,000 health and mental health connections in Connecticut and Rhode Island. “We can help people cope with stress and identify health concerns that may have been overlooked in the disruption of the storm.”
Shipman said that more 800 volunteers have supported the relief operation in Connecticut and Rhode Island. “Most of these volunteers were from right here in our two states. Their service, even while many were dealing with storm issues themselves, is at the heart of the Red Cross response,” Shipman said. “The Red Cross workforce is 96-percent volunteer. It makes possible the best use of donated funds.” Shipman also noted Red Cross volunteers who came from other states. “Our neighbors from Western Massachusetts returned the favor after our assistance there in the wake of the tornado in 2011. And we had volunteers from states as far away as Minnesota, Illinois and North Carolina.” Shipman said that many Connecticut and Rhode Island residents stepped up to help as well. “We had so many generous people offer time after the storm. We did not have spots for everyone, but we hope those who offered to help will get Red Cross training and be ready to help in the future.”
The Red Cross has mobilized the full resources of the organization to help people affected by Sandy. The entire fleet of response vehicles is activated and more than 5,400 disaster workers are supporting shelters, providing people with food and water and driving through neighborhoods to hand out food and supplies. To date, the Red Cross has served more than 1.6 million meals and snacks, provided more than 57,200 overnight stays, distributed more than 91,600 relief items and provided more than 23,900 health services and emotional support contacts.
The response to Sandy is likely to be the biggest Red Cross response in the U.S. in the past five years.
To help, visit http://www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. People can also use the “donate” feature on the free Red Cross Apps to support the Red Cross relief response.
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.