NEO Volunteers and Staff Head to the East Coast for Hurricane Matthew Response

emily-probst“My name is Emily and I am the Disaster Program Specialist for the Greater Cleveland Chapter. I am heading out on my first deployment to assist with disaster relief for Hurricane Matthew. I am very excited to get down to Florida and make a direct impact to the community. I started working for the Red Cross because I wanted a job where I was making a positive impact everyday! I am more then ready to take this next step in my work and hit the ground running upon my arrival. “

Including Emily, nineteen NEO Red Cross workers have deployed to the East Coast, and many more are expected to leave in the coming days.

The Red Cross has launched a massive sheltering operation in response to Hurricane Matthew with more than 27,000 people seeking refuge in almost 200 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters across three states Thursday night. This included 133 shelters in Florida with more than 22,000 people; 18 shelters in Georgia with more than 2,100 people; and 47 shelters in South Carolina with more than 2,500 people.

More than 1,800 Red Cross disaster workers from across the country are on the ground or traveling to the southeast to support evacuation shelters and response efforts. In addition to providing a safe place to ride out the dangerous storm, the Red Cross is preparing to deliver relief supplies and help people recover from Matthew as soon as it is safe to do so.

The Red Cross has deployed numerous emergency response vehicles and 35 trailers filled with items like water, ready-to-eat meals, shelter and kitchen supplies, cleaning supplies and comfort kits, insect repellant, gloves, masks, shovels, rakes, coolers and more. The Red Cross is also working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners to make sure people get the help they need.

If someone you know needs to find a shelter, they can visit redcross.org, check the Red Cross Emergency App or call 1-800-768-8048. Anyone who plans to stay in a Red Cross shelter should bring prescription medications, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, important documents and other comfort items. They should also include any special items for children, such as diapers, formula and toys, or for family members who have unique needs.

Donations help those affected by disasters, big and small. To donate today, visit www.redcross.org/donate.

2016 Hurricane Season Kicks Off Early

On January 17, 2016 the first hurricane of the season dissipated over the Labrador Sea.

The big question is: Did you even know there was a Hurricane raging over the Atlantic?

On January 14, Hurricane Alex became the first hurricane to form during the month of January since 1938. It originated seven days earlier as an extratropical cyclone near the Bahamas and moved north. It peaked as a Category 1 on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale with winds of 85 mph. After weakening slightly, Alex made landfall on Terceira Island as a tropical storm a week later.

Luckily, this rare January hurricane did little damage.

But it does make you think about getting prepared, because you just never know when an emergency situation will creep up!

One really easy way to cover your bases when it comes to preparedness is to download the Red Cross Emergency App. Not only will the app alert you to any hurricanes in your area (based on your phone’s GPS coordinates), it can help you prepare for winter’s worst (which is definitely more pressing to northeast Ohio!)

Visit www.redcross.org/apps or search for RED CROSS in your device’s app store today.