MUSKEGON – The American Red Cross has a huge relief response underway to Superstorm Sandy, providing people across a number of states with a safe place to stay, food to eat and comfort during this difficult time.
Thousands of people have spent the night in hundreds of Red Cross shelters since the storm began its onslaught on the country. The Red Cross has already served more than 164,000 meals and snacks, mobilized more than 3,300 disaster workers, 230 emergency vehicles and 50 semi-trailers of relief supplies such as clean-up kits, rakes, shovels, tarps, dust masks and work gloves.
“This response to Superstorm Sandy is just getting started. The storm has left devastation in its wake and the American Red Cross will be helping people for weeks to come,” said Tim Lipan, Executive Director of the American Red Cross. “This will be a very costly relief effort. We are asking everyone to support the American Red Cross as we help people recover from this massive storm.”
The Red Cross of West Michigan currently has 63 volunteers along the East Coast responding to the relief efforts. That includes six Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV), which are responding to the disaster in safe areas by bringing in meals, water, information, and emotional support. In fact, 18 of the volunteers are from the Muskegon area and the Muskegon based Emergency Response Vehicle was one of the first vehicles allowed onto Long Island, New York when the checkpoints were opened for emergency repsonders.
HOW TO HELP
The response to Sandy is very large and very costly and the Red Cross needs the public’s help now. People can make a financial donation by visiting www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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.
PLEASE GIVE BLOOD
The storm has also caused the cancellation of hundreds of Red Cross blood drives, resulting in a loss of as many as 12,000 blood products and people are eligible are asked to schedule a blood donation now, especially if they live outside the areas impacted by the storm.
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.
RED CROSS SHELTERS
If someone needs to find a shelter, they 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.
NOTIFYING LOVED ONES
People can let their loved ones know how they are by using the “I’m Safe” button on the Red Cross Hurricane App which can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. People can also register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website to let loved ones know they are okay. To register, visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).