Monday, February 4, 2013

Still helping, three months after Sandy

You may not see it in the news daily anymore, but Superstorm Sandy continues to affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, especially in New York and New Jersey. Last week, the American Red Cross issued a progress report on its work to help people in the first three months after the storm struck the East Coast as well as its plans for longer-term recovery.

Click here to watch a video from Red Cross President & CEO
Gail McGovern regarding the response to Sandy
Our Regional Executive Director, Nancy Blaschak, is currently on an interim assignment to lead those recovery efforts in New York City and Long Island. Even as we continue to serve thousands of meals and snacks to people in affected areas daily, we are working closely with government partners on long-term recovery efforts, and the first part of the Red Cross recovery work is already underway. Just last week, a $15 million mold remediation project between the Red Cross, the Mayor's Fund and Robin Hood Foundation was announced

For the next several months, a big part of the Red Cross recovery effort will be working one-on-one with families who need some extra help making recovery plans and accessing available resources. Some need help finding child care, or understanding insurance paperwork. Red Cross case workers will help guide them through the recovery process. The Red Cross is also supporting the work of several other relief groups, such as helping to fund several local food banks in New York to boost their capacity to serve more meals and help ensure people who need food have access to it, as well as support for Operation Hope’s work to provide assistance and financial counseling to survivors.

The Red Cross has deployed a total of more than 16,800 disaster workers in the past three months to help those affected by Sandy, including 49 volunteers from right here in Western New York. Three months after landfall, more than 1,000 Red Cross workers remain on the scene, providing food, water and emotional support to people in need. Since Sandy made landfall, the Red Cross has:
  • Served more than 11 million meals and snacks.
  • Distributed more than 6.9 million relief items like blankets and cleaning supplies.
  • Provided more than 109,000 health and mental health contacts for those affected, many of whom lost everything they owned during the storm.
  • Provided nearly half (81,000) of the total 163,000 shelter stays by a range of groups. 
All of this amazing work is only possible thanks to the generous support of this community and the American public. The Red Cross has received more than $254 million in donations and pledges for Sandy.  By January 31, the Red Cross will have spent or made commitments to spend an estimated $145 million, and the remaining Sandy donations will be used to help individuals and communities affected by this storm with their long-term needs. More information on the Red Cross work on the Sandy emergency relief and recovery can be found at

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