Maria Strikes as Our Response to Harvey and Irma Continues

HURRICANE FAST FACTS
September 20, 2017

The American Red Cross has a launched a wide-ranging relief effort to provide safe shelter, food and comfort to people affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, even as Hurricane Maria strikes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Red Cross is part of a large team of agencies and organizations responding to provide help to those in need.

Hurricane Maria

  • Overnight, more than 10,000 people were provided refuge in almost 200 government and Red Cross shelters in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
    • On the U.S. Virgin Islands, 145 people took refuge in 6 evacuation shelters.
    • In Puerto Rico, 10,100 people hunkered down in 173 government evacuation shelters.
    • More than 160 Red Cross disaster workers were positioned in Puerto Rico and the USVI, riding out the storm.  Hundreds more are positioned to deploy where they are needed, with supplies, once the storm passes.

 Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

  • In the last three weeks, the Red Cross and community partners have provided more than 955,000 overnight stays in emergency shelters due to hurricanes.
  • Overnight, almost 3,800 people stayed in 21 Red Cross and partner shelters across Texas. To date, there have been more than 400,000 overnight shelter stays provided for Hurricane Harvey.
  • The Red Cross has served more than 3.35 million meals and snacks to people in need.
  • More than 5,800 Red Cross disaster workers and more than 330 emergency response vehicles – nearly our entire vehicle fleet – are on the ground right now, helping thousands of people affected by these storms.
  • More than 76 million hurricane and flood alerts have been issued through Red Cross mobile apps for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
  • 65 workers from Northeast Ohio have been deployed to the hurricane relief efforts, and more are expected to respond to Hurricane Maria.

 

Mexican earthquake

  • Yesterday’s 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Mexico killed hundreds of people.
  • More than 90 ambulances and an urban rescue unit of the Mexican Red Cross are helping search for survivors, transporting the injured to hospitals and providing first aid on the scene.
  • The Mexican Red Cross has deployed dozens of doctors and nurses to help with the response.
  • In all, more than 500 volunteers and staff were activated in the hours immediately following the disaster.
  • 17 urban rescue units, ambulances and logistic units will arrive today with more almost 70 more volunteers and staff.

Volunteer Response from NEO Continues to Grow

Red Cross Relief Operations Continue In Texas and the Southeast

The dual disasters caused by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma have mobilized thousands of Red Cross workers, including 60 from Northeast Ohio.

Among the volunteers providing assistance to residents of Texas is Manny Andrews of Akron.

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Akron resident and Red Cross volunteer Manny Andrews

Manny can be seen in this video, helping distribute meals to people in neighborhoods near Houston, where the need for help continues to be great, more than three weeks after Hurricane Harvey made landfall.

“They’re just basically cleaning up, and we’re just providing food for them,” said Manny, who  has served with the United States Marine Corps.  “It definitely feels good to know at least I’m doing something.  It’s not a lot, but it’s something they appreciate.”

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Red Cross volunteer Jennifer Hatfield with a hurricane-impacted resident in Brunswick, GA.

Among the Northeast Ohio volunteers helping people affected by Hurricane Irma is Jennifer Hatfield of Ashland.  She is seen in this photo, talking with a woman who was fishing in the Fancy Bluff Creek in Brunswick, Georgia.

It’s the first time the Ohio State Highway Patrol dispatcher has been assigned to a large disaster relief operation.  “We’re helping a lot of Georgia’s impoverished population,” Jennifer said.

The recovery effort is expected to last for months, and the Red Cross is committed to providing the services needed to help people put their lives back together.  But it’s going to take the help of many trained volunteers.  Zero to Hero training sessions continue to be held throughout Northeast Ohio.  Visit redcross.org/neo and click the VOLUNTEER tab to begin the application process.

Here is the latest information on the Red Cross hurricane relief efforts:

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

  • In the last three weeks, the Red Cross and community partners have provided more than 934,000 overnight stays in emergency shelters due to hurricanes. Shelters were opened in 8 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • The Red Cross has served more than 3 million meals and snacks to people in need.
  • More than 6,400 Red Cross disaster workers and almost 300 emergency response vehicles are on the ground right now, helping thousands of people affected by these storms.
  • More than 73 million hurricane and flood alerts have been issued through Red Cross mobile apps for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Hurricane Harvey

  • Overnight, more than 4,600 people stayed in 25 Red Cross and partner shelters across Texas and Louisiana. To date, there have been nearly 394,000 overnight shelter stays provided for Hurricane Harvey.
  • Along with our partners, we have served more than 2.3 million meals and snacks in Texas and Louisiana.
  • More than 3,500 Red Cross disaster workers are on the ground in Texas and Louisiana, with almost 280 more on the way.
  • More than 170 emergency response vehicles have been activated to help deliver meals and relief supplies across the hardest hit areas of Texas and Louisiana.
  • Mental health and health services professionals have provided nearly 76,000 contacts to provide support and care to people in Texas and Louisiana.
  • We’ve distributed nearly 655,000 relief items like diapers, bug spray, cleaning supplies, coolers, and comfort kits containing deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other hygiene items, in Texas and Louisiana.
  • The Red Cross has already distributed $45 million in financial assistance to more than 100,000 qualified households who needed immediate help. This assistance has helped more than 365,000 people including more than 10,000 households headed by military veterans.

Hurricane Irma

  • Overnight, almost 3,600 people were provided refuge in 55 government and Red Cross shelters across Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This includes:
    • In Florida, more than 3,200 people in 47evacuation shelters.
    • In Georgia, 24 people in one shelter.
    • On the U.S. Virgin Islands, 162 people in four evacuation shelters.
    • In Puerto Rico, more than 182 people in three evacuation shelters.
  • To date, evacuation centers have provided more than half a million (541,000) overnight stays to people needing a safe place to go.
  • Along with our partners, we have served more than 747,000 meals and snacks across six states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • We’ve distributed more than 88,000 relief items like diapers, bug spray, cleaning supplies, coolers, and comfort kits containing deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other hygiene items across six states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Mental health and health services professionals have provided more than 16,000 contacts to provide support and care to those affected across six states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Nearly 3,000 Red Cross workers are responding to Irma now, with more than 300 more volunteers on the way.
  • More than 120 emergency response vehicles have been activated to help.

 

 

 

Help NEEDED…More Volunteers

Red Cross volunteer Kim Sterling of Ashtabula met Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern after being deployed to Austin, Texas

There are currently 30 volunteers from Northeast Ohio in or en route to Texas to provide relief to those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Some of them have been featured in the local media:

http://www.wkyc.com/news/local/five-ways-you-can-help-make-a-difference-for-harvey-victims-in-need/469042466

http://www.medina-gazette.com/Medina-County/2017/08/31/Medina-County-natives-involved-in-Harvey-efforts.html

http://www.news5cleveland.com/news/local-news/oh-summit/two-local-red-cross-volunteers-head-south-to-help-thousands-forced-from-their-flooded-homes

Volunteers continue to leave for the hurricane zone to provide sheltering, meals, and other services to residents who were forced from their homes.  And more volunteers will be needed in the coming weeks, to continue providing assistance to the tens of thousands of residents affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Red Cross volunteers are trained to provide the services needed before, during and after disaster strikes.  New training sessions are being scheduled.  If you are interested in becoming a Red Cross volunteer, and helping people like the volunteers featured in the media stories above, visit our volunteer page to begin the application process.

Local Volunteers Helping in Texas

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Red Cross volunteers Cameron Fraser and Rick King are improvising.

“We’re both trained in logistics, but when we got here, we saw a greater need and offered to help deliver meals,” Rick said as he assembled packages of snacks. “Flexibility is key. Our snack packs could end up being lunch, dinner and breakfast.”

Rick and Cameron are among more than two dozen volunteers from Northeast Ohio who have been deployed in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.  They have been assigned to help residents in and around Texas City, Texas.

“We went from Baton Rouge to Hempstead in the Great Texas ERV Drive,” Rick said, referring to a convoy of more than 40 emergency response vehicles (ERVs) that made their way to the Houston area. “It took us hours and hours to get there.”

ERV drive

In total, eight groups headed to the area last Thursday.  They were able to communicate with one another through a smart phone app.

Cameron and Rick are working with partners from the Southern Baptist Convention, who set up a mobile kitchen for preparing the meals Red Cross workers will deliver.

“There’s a feeling of nervous energy,” said Rick. “We’ve spent time training on what to expect and we’re ready to go.”

To become a Red Cross volunteer, visit our volunteer page, or call 216-431-3328.

By the numbers:

· Saturday night, at least 32,399 people sought refuge in 226 Red Cross and partner shelters across Texas overnight. The Red Cross is also assisting the Louisiana state government with an emergency shelter which hosted nearly 1,700 people last night.

· More than 2,700 Red Cross disaster workers are on the ground, and more than 660 are on the way.

· Shelter supplies to support more than 85,000 people are on the ground.

· Along with our partners, we have served more than a half million (515,000) meals and snacks since the storm began.

· We have trailers of kitchen supplies on the ground to support 14 kitchens, each able to produce 10,000 meals a day, and 2 more trailers are on the way.

· We also have about 150,000 ready-to-eat meals currently on the ground with an additional 5,000 on the way.

· More than 215 emergency response vehicles have been activated to help deliver meals and relief supplies.

· Mental health and health services professionals have provided some 15,000 contacts to provide support and care to evacuees.

· We’ve distributed more than 27,000 relief items like diapers and comfort kits that contain deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other hygiene items for people forced from their homes. Cleaning and relief supplies to support more than 15,000 homes are on the ground, with an additional 5,000 on the way.

 

 

Hurricane Harvey: Week One Recap

Northeast Ohio Numbers

  • Northeast Ohioans deployed to the affected areas: 23
  • Emergency Response Vehicles deployed to the affected areas 4 of 4 in NEO
  • Average Individual Deployment: 2 weeks

National Information

  • The Red Cross is working hard to get help to where it is needed. Access into

    August 30, 2017. Delco Center Shelter, Austin, Texas. Red Cross volunteer Caroline Pinkston colors with children staying at a shelter in Austin, Texas. Photo by Chuck Haupt for the American Red Cross

    many areas is still quite difficult, and we are partnering with the U. S. Coast Guard and the Texas National Guard to move supplies and volunteers to where they are needed most. Our first priority is keeping people safe while providing shelter, food and a shoulder to lean on.

  • Estimates indicate more than 33,800 people sought refuge in more than 240 Red Cross and partner shelters across Texas Tuesday night.
  • Six shelters are also open in Louisiana with more than 450 people.

How we respond

  • Massive disasters like Hurricane Harvey create more needs than any one organization can meet on their own. The Red Cross is working very closely with the entire response community – government agencies, other non-profit groups, faith-based organizations, area businesses and others – to coordinate emergency relief efforts and get help to people as quickly as possible.
  • The Red Cross is working dozens of disaster partners to support feeding, child care, disaster assessment and other disaster services. Some of the partners we are coordinating with include Americorps NCCC, Church of the Brethren Children’s Disaster Services, Save the Children, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief and Islamic Relief USA.
  • We have trailers of kitchen supplies on the ground to support 6 kitchens, each

    August 29, 2017. George R. Brown Convention Center, Red Cross Mega Shelter, Houston, Texas. Texas Gulf Coast Region board member, Amy Gasea and event based volunteer, Emanuel Castillo, hand out hot meals to shelter residents at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Amy has been a board member since 2014 and is an assigned volunteer to the Disaster Relief Operation. Amy was originally assigned to supporting the operation in the planning function, but jumped in to assist as the Feeding Manager of the GRB Convention Center when a leader was needed. Photo by Daniel Cima for the American Red Cross

    able to produce 10,000 meals a day and 6 more trailers are on the way. We also have about 116,000 ready-to-eat meals currently on the ground with an additional 39,000 en route. More than half of our emergency response fleet – 200 Emergency Response Vehicles – have been activated for the operation. Shelters are standing by in other states, including Tennessee, Oklahoma and Arkansas, in case they are needed.

  • With blood products prepositioned in Houston and Dallas ahead of the storm, the Red Cross continues to work closely with local, state and federal authorities to deliver blood and platelets to our hospital partners in flood affected areas.
  • After the effects of the storm passes, we are offering emotional support and health services, and distributing emergency relief supplies such as comfort kits and cleaning supplies. But our work doesn’t end there; the Red Cross also plays a critical role in helping families and communities get back on their feet.

Donations

  • The Red Cross has launched a massive response to this devastating storm and needs financial donations to be able to provide immediate disaster relief. Help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
  • Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.
  • We thank everyone for their overwhelming support for people impacted by this catastrophic storm. If you are having issues with text donations, please visit redcross.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS to donate.
  • We know Americans are generous and want to do everything they can to help after a disaster. Unfortunately, collecting and sending food, clothing and other household items often does more harm than good. Instead, the best way to support disaster victims is with a financial donation.
  • It takes time and money to store, sort, clean and distribute donated items, which diverts limited time and resources away from helping those most affected. In contrast, financial donations can be accessed quickly to support those affected, and be put to use right away. With a financial donation, individuals can buy what they need and want.
  • Storing donated items can also result in thousands of dollars in warehousing, cleaning, transportation and handling fees – whereas financial donations allow us to be flexible to give those directly affected by Harvey what they need most.

Volunteers

  • Hundreds of experienced American Red Cross volunteers and employees are

    August 29, 2017. George R. Brown Convention Center, Red Cross Mega Shelter, Houston, Texas. Red Cross volunteer, Rabia Vaid comforts six week old, Anaya Rizwan. Photo by Daniel Cima for the American Red Cross

    working around the clock to provide shelter and supplies to Gulf Coast residents affected by Harvey.

  • The Red Cross appreciates the overwhelming interest of the public to volunteer. Please be patient–with the tremendous outpouring of support we are seeing, it will take some time to reach out to all those who have signed up to volunteer.
  • Please also remember that, when connecting with the Red Cross or other volunteer groups, check first to learn about current opportunities and when volunteers are needed—before traveling to the affected areas independently. Access to relief operation areas is extremely difficult and search and rescue efforts are still ongoing.
  • The effects of Harvey will be felt for a long time. Today or in the future, if you would like to volunteer with the Red Cross, you should visit the volunteer section of redcross.org to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to apply to be a volunteer. This will allow those interested to help on large disasters like Hurricane Harvey, but also when smaller disasters like home fires happen in local communities.

Texas Needs Our Help After Relentless Rain Causes More Flooding

More rain predicted for the area. Volunteers prepared with more supplies and shelters.

Texas Floods 2016

March 22, 2016. Orange, Texas. 75 year old Maybel Bordelon from Orange Texas comes to the Red Cross resource center to get much needed cleaning supplies. “Everyone here is so friendly and kind. Everyone is town is talking about the help that Red Cross is providing. We are so thankful you are here.” Photo by Danuta Otfinowski/American Red Cross

Volunteers from the American Red Cross are responding to the devastating flooding occurring in Texas after some parts of the state received 19 inches of rain over the holiday weekend. Among them are volunteers deployed from the Northeast Ohio Region.  They are assisting with communications and mental health services.

Since the beginning of the year, numerous storms have ravaged the state, displacing thousands of families and devastating homes and businesses.

Over the weekend, Brenham, Texas, located about 65 miles northwest of Houston, received 18 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. Houston, which has been hammered with severe weather and flooding for several months, was again in the storm’s path and people were forced to leave their homes. The threat isn’t over – weather experts predict flooding will continue for several more days. Emergency officials estimate that some 6,000 homes may be affected.

Red Cross volunteers have mobilized once again. Fifteen shelters were opened in the affected areas and volunteers are helping to assess the damage. The Red Cross is also providing meals in coordination with the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief and other local partners. Red Cross volunteers will also be delivering relief supplies as soon as it is safe to do so.

The Red Cross is monitoring the ongoing threat for more flooding and is setting up in areas that are likely to be hit by the next onslaught of bad weather later this week.

“This part of the country has been hit with multiple disasters for months now, and the Red Cross has been helping from day one,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president, Disaster Services Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. “We have nearly 300 Red Cross workers on the ground or on their way to help people in Texas. Our volunteers will remain in these communities in the weeks ahead to make sure people get the help they need.”

HOW TO HELP You can help people affected by the Texas Floods and Tornadoes by contacting Scott Thompson at scott.thompson@redcross.org, or calling 216-431-3064 or 1-800-RED CROSS, or texting the word TXFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Texas Floods and Tornadoes will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters.

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP With the threat of more severe weather, people should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.