ARC Calls On Community Members to Volunteer in Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts
ARC Asks For Increased Support as Response Continues in Western PA
DUBOIS – Thousands of people across nine states took refuge from Hurricane Sandy in American Red Cross shelters Sunday night as the massive storm neared the East Coast.
As Sandy bears down, the ARC relief effort forges ahead. Thus far, the organization has provided 3,200 people with shelter, deployed more than 1,300 disaster workers and prepared nearly 150 emergency response vehicles with relief supplies.
The ARC in western Pennsylvania is also launching its extensive local relief effort. Currently, the local ARC is gathering and organizing disaster volunteers, packing relief supplies, prepping four emergency response vehicles as well as designating ARC workers to be on-call around the clock.
In addition, the ARC will open its first shelter this evening in Allegheny County.
The shelter – which is being opened in preparation for possible flooding and power outages in the immediate area – will open at 7 p.m. at Shaler Middle School, located at 1800 Mt. Royal Blvd. Shaler, PA 15116. The shelter is open to the public.
People coming to a shelter should remember to bring the following items:
- Prescription medication
- Valuable papers and identification
- Change of clothing
- Water, nonperishable foods
- Blankets, pillows and/or sleeping bags
- Baby food and diapers.
However, as the relief efforts continue, the local ARC is asking for further assistance from community members.
The ARC invites all who are interested in assisting in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy to contact the Volunteer Management Team at 412-263-3182.
To find shelter, people can download th ARC Hurricane app, visit the ARC Web site, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or check local media outlets. They should also register on the ARC 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.
How to Help
The large-scale ARC relief effort for Hurricane Sandy is expected to be costly. Donations help the ARC provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. To donate, people can visit www.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 someone’s local ARC chapter or to the ARC, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
Blood Drives Cancelled
Meanwhile, nearly 100 ARC blood drives have already been cancelled due to the storm, and there could be more as the week goes on. This means a loss of as many as 3,200 blood and platelet products. 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. 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 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 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 ARC.
Follow the ARC on Twitter RedCrossWPA for news and updates.
About the American Red Cross Western Pennsylvania Region:
The ARC 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 ARC 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 ARC 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 ARC is able to fulfill its mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.