Story: Six Stranger, One Mission

November 14, 2012

Story by Giselle Gomez

It was 11:00 am and the sun was attempting to pierce through the foggy sky in Lido Beach, Long Island.  With a huge smile on her face, Faye Lagares of Queens, NY began loading food, water and comfort kits filled with blankets, trash bags and other items into Red Cross vehicles.  Faye, who works for Citibank, is a brand new volunteer.  Citibank’s volunteer program is dedicated to connecting their employees with volunteer opportunities in their communities.

“A request came in for around 50 volunteers and in a matter of hours every slot was filled,” said Faye.  “Many of our employees were affected [by Sandy] and I just felt I needed to do something.”

Jessica Fleurimond from Philadelphia, Steve Brown from Texas, Giselle Gomez from California, Kabir Tombat, an AmeriCorps member currently working with the Greater New York Red Cross Chapter and Red Cross Long Island Board Member Joel Greenberg, all joined Faye, going door to door throughout Lido Beach distributing meals and supplies.

One of the team’s main goals was to reach senior citizens living in high-rise apartments who still did not have power.  At each building, the group divided into teams of two, going to floor-to-floor and ensuring that all residents received food, water, blankets and supplies.

“It was just truly incredible how we all quickly came together to help,” said Giselle Gomez.  “At the end of the day, we were not strangers, but instead a family.”

Story: Tight-Knit in Lindenhurst, NY

November 14, 2012

Story and photo by Dick McGee

While waiting for his hot meals from the American Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle, Jack Snee related how he and his neighbors are a tightly knit social group. The common bond between them has enabled about ten families to help one another through the recovery process after Superstorm Sandy. Jack’s house is at the end of a dead end street on the waterfront in Lindenhurst, Long Island, NY.  This neighborhood group has shared the good times, and the bad, for several years. “We are really coming along quite well,” he said.

Jack shares his home with his parents, a sister, and her daughter. “Nearly everyone around here evacuated early,” he recalled. “I got my parents out and we left on Sunday afternoon.”  But he was amazed by the apparent force of the storm surge. Jack described the bewilderment he felt upon returning home for the first time. “I absolutely couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” he remembered. “There was a house right there in the middle of the street, and three or four really large boats in the front yards,” he exclaimed, pointing out where these strange sights had occurred. “I realized I couldn’t stay here with four feet of water in the house, so I went to stay with a buddy for about a week.”

Jack, who has recently been promoted to Manager of an Outback Steak House in the area, was adamant in his praise of the Red Cross. “What you people have been doing to help us is absolutely wonderful. A group of us in the neighborhood were talking about it just last night, and we agreed that because of the Red Cross relief efforts , and with the way we all pull together for each other, we really couldn’t ask for anything more.”

With a final “Thank you” to the Red Cross, Jack picked up his five hot lunch meals, with fruit, snacks and water and headed for his house to find shelter from the gently falling rain.


Disaster Alert: Hazardous Material in New York

August 2, 2012

Disaster Alert

New York– A business containing several hazardous materials including propane and oil caught fire prompting the evacuation of about 50 homes in a one mile radius of the incident in Columbia County yesterday.

The ARC of Northeastern New York supported a shelter at the request of the Columbia County and deployed a shelter trailer to the Chatham Fire Department.

Disaster Alert: Severe Weather in New York

July 27, 2012

Disaster Alert

New York– Severe Storms and a possible tornado knocked down trees as well as communication lines, cancelled flights and left thousands of people without power throughout many portions of the state on Thursday.

The Sullivan Trail Chapter deployed team members, opened a shelter and provided Mass Care for affected-area residents. Disaster Assessment will be conducted later today.

Disaster Alert: Large Apartment Fire in New York

July 27, 2012

Disaster Alert

New York– A six-alarm fire at a seven-story apartment complex in Brooklyn prompted the evacuation of over 100 residents on Thursday.

Team members from the American Red Cross in Greater New York Chapter opened a shelter and provided meals for residents.

Disaster Alert: Fire/gas leak in New York

July 18, 2012

Disaster Alert

New York–  About 50 residents were displaced due to a residential fire/gas leak in Saint Lawrence county yesterday.

The ARC of Northern New York opened a shelter for the affected residents.

Disaster Alert: Transportation Incident in New York

March 13, 2011

Disaster Alert

New York – A tour bus returning from Mohegan Sun early morning on Saturday slammed into a pole killing fourteen passengers and injuring many in Bronx. Cause of the accident is under investigation.

The ARC in Greater New York Chapter set up a Family Assistance Center and provided mental health, disaster health services and mass care to the affected and first responders. Chapter also had public affairs and partner services on the scene.

Press Release: Greater NY Red Cross Helps Hundreds Affected by Building Fires and Vacates over President’s Day Weekend

February 22, 2011

Greater NY Red Cross Helps Hundreds Affected by Building Fires and Vacates over President’s Day Weekend

New York – Over a long President’s Day Weekend that saw the weather change from spring-like warmth to frigid, wind-swept cold, the American Red Cross in Greater New York provided immediate humanitarian support—including food, clothing, blankets, temporary housing, emergency funds for basic needs and health and mental health services—to over 400 people affected by 26 fires and other incidents in the five boroughs of NYC and the Lower Hudson Valley.

The first of the weekend’s two largest responses occurred on Friday afternoon, when a full vacate order was issued for 552 Academy Street, a 5-story building in the Inwood section of Manhattan. The Chapter opened a reception center at nearby Junior High School 52, where Red Cross relief workers provided food and beverages, and health and mental health support for those affected by the vacate. A total of 36 families (89 adults and 16 children) registered for Red Cross services, and of those, 15 families (44 adults and 5 children) received emergency funds for food and other basic necessities.


Disaster Alert: Explosion in New York

January 27, 2011

Disaster Alert

New York – A house exploded in the town of Horseheads resulting in three injuries and the evacuation of eight homes yesterday.

The Southern Tier chapter’s Disaster Action Team conducted a Disaster Assessment and provided Mass Care to the affected residents and first responders.

Disaster Alert: Gas Leak in New York

January 21, 2011

Disaster Alert

New York – A gas leak in Ulster County prompted the evacuation of over 1,000 residents within the affected area on Thursday.

The Ulster County Chapter deployed a Disaster Action Team, opened a shelter and collaborated with other local organizations to provide Mass Care.


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