ARC Responding to Hurricane Sandy in Multiple States
Local ARC also Preparing for Hurricane Sandy
The large and powerful storm could affect as many as 60 million people in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, and the ARC has workers and relief supplies in place to provide help to people in the path of Sandy.
Locally, with reports of possible flooding, heavy winds and snow fall, the ARC in Western Pennsylvania is also ready to respond to possible effects of the storm. Currently, the local ARC is identifying potential shelter locations throughout the region, organizing relief supplies and stocking emergency response vehicles. Additionally, the organization is calling upon local disaster volunteers to assist with local response efforts as well as deploy to other areas in need of assistance.
The local organization is also calling upon community members in western Pennsylvania to do their part in preparing for Hurricane Sandy by making a kit, having a plan and staying informed. Preparedness information can be found at RedCross.org.
The effects of the storm are already being felt with 128 people spending Saturday night in Red Cross shelters in North Carolina and Virginia. ARC workers are preparing to open and support more shelters today as the storm moves northward.
To find 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 Web site, a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies. To register, visit RedCross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). This site also connects with the Twitter and Facebook accounts of users.
Almost 100 Red Cross emergency vehicles, including three in western Pennsylvania, 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 affected areas.
How to Help
This will be a large, costly relief response. 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 RedCross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to the local Red Cross office or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
Last Day to Get Ready
The ARC urges everyone to make their final storm preparations today. Sandy is expected to have a huge impact in the Mid-Atlantic region, stretching north to New England and toward the Midwest. Millions of people could lose power for several days. Gale force winds are expected, accompanied by several inches of rain throughout the storm. Flooding could occur as far west as parts of Ohio. In areas like West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina, several feet of snow could occur.
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 ARC 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.
Please Give Blood
The storm has already caused the cancellation of ARC 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 ARC 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 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.
Red Cross Apps
People should download the free ARC 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 ARC 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 OK. 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 ARC.
Follow the ARC on Twitter at RedCrossWPA for news and updates.
About the American Red Cross Western Pennsylvania Region:
The American Red Cross in Southwestern Pennsylvania serves more than 3.6 million people in 25 counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Somerset, Venango, Warren, Washington and Westmoreland. Locally, the Red Cross provides relief to the victims of approximately 1,000 disasters each year, facilitates vital emergency communications between military members of their loved ones here at home, and trains nearly 118,000 individuals in vital lifesaving skills such as CPR and First Aid. The American Red Cross is not a government agency, nor does it receive funding from its national headquarters except during times of large-scale disasters. It is only through the generosity of the people of Western Pennsylvania that the local Red Cross is able to fulfill its mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergenciesprevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergenciesprevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergenciesprevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies. For more information, please visit RedCross.org or join our blog at RedCrossWPA.wordpress.com.