Monday, October 29, 2012

Red Cross Responding to Hurricane Sandy

Nine volunteers deployed downstate; shelter locations and volunteers on standby across WNY Region

BUFFALO, NY, Monday, October 29, 2012 — The American Red Cross is responding across multiple states as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast. A High Wind Warning is in effect for all of Western New York from 5pm Monday until 2pm Tuesday, with winds gusting as high as 60mph, and these potentially damaging winds could cause widespread power outages. A Flood Watch is also in affect for the entire region during that same timeframe, with two to three inches of rainfall expected, and a Lakeshore Flood Warning is in effect for Niagara, Orleans and Chautauqua Counties.

The American Red Cross has potential shelter locations and volunteers on standby throughout the eight counties of the Western New York region, ready to respond as needed. The Red Cross is also working closely with government officials to plan and coordinate the relief response.

Important information about how to get ready for the storm – steps to take for emergencies like flooding, power outages, even winter weather - is available on the Red Cross web site. Videos are also available to help people get prepared, including information on severe weather preparedness and how to get ready for winter weather. To find a shelter, people 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. They should also register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website, a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies. To register, visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). This site also connects with the Twitter and Facebook accounts of users.

In addition, nine volunteers from the Western New York Region have been deployed to White Plains, NY to assist in the Red Cross relief efforts, and Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV’s) from both Niagara County and Jamestown are on alert. Here is a full list of local volunteers currently deployed to assist in the response to Hurricane Sandy:

·         James Collingwood of Amherst for External Relations/Government Operations
·         Tom Daley of Tonawanda for Mass Care/Sheltering
·         Janice Davis of Friendship for Disaster Health Services
·         Marianne Evans of Ransomville for Mass Care/Sheltering
·         Michael Hoplight of Niagara Falls as a Logistics Supervisor
·         Tara Hughes of Amherst as Disaster Mental Health Chief
·         Margaret McGee-Smith of Kenmore for Disaster Mental Health in Harrisburg, PA
·         Beth Shook of Cuba for Staff Services
·         Dawn Zaker of Niagara Falls for Mass Care/Sheltering

The large and powerful storm could affect as many as 60 million people in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, and the Red Cross has workers and relief supplies in place to provide help to people in the path of Sandy.

The effects of the storm are already being felt with 128 people spending Saturday night in Red Cross shelters in North Carolina and Virginia. Red Cross workers are preparing to open and support more shelters today as the storm moves northward.

Almost 100 Red Cross emergency vehicles are mobilizing to distribute meals and relief supplies after the storm passes. Thousands of ready-to-eat meals and relief supplies such as cots and blankets are also being sent into the region.

HOW TO HELP  Donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. To donate, people can visit, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, 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.

Volunteer Diane Sargent in Florida
earlier in 2012
PLEASE GIVE BLOOD The storm has already caused the cancellation of Red Cross blood drives in the region, and more cancellations are expected. This has resulted in the loss of several hundred units of blood and platelets so far. The Red Cross has shipped blood products to hospitals in the affected area in advance of the storm as patients will still need blood and platelets despite the weather. If anyone is eligible, especially in places not affected by the storm, they are asked to please schedule a blood donation now.

To schedule a blood donation or get more information about giving blood, people can visit 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 APPS People should download the free Red Cross Hurricane and First Aid apps for mobile devices to have emergency information at their fingertips. The Hurricane App keeps people up to date on the situation with weather alerts, locations of Red Cross shelters, and features a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm. The “I’m Safe” button lets someone use social media sites to tell family and friends they are okay. And it’s available in Spanish by changing the language setting on someone’s smart phone to Spanish before downloading.  The First Aid app includes expert advice for everyday emergencies. The apps can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross.

No comments:

Post a Comment