Red Cross Recap: Responding, Readying and Remembering

Since it seems like so very much has been happening across the country and around the world lately, we thought we’d dedicate today’s post as a sort of Red Cross Recap rather than just focus on one topic.

Hurricane Irene.
The storm may have hit almost two weekends ago, but the relief efforts are still very much ongoing in many of the communities hit hardest by Irene. Red Cross volunteers have been steadily working from North Carolina to New England. Much of the damage from the storm was caused by flooding, which often times means that people are unable to return home for an extended period of time until the water recede. To date, the Red Cross has:

  • Supported almost 500 shelters
  • Provided 58,000 overnight stays
  • Distributed 1.8 million meals and snacks and 1/2  million relief supplies
  • 6,000 Red Cross workers on the ground helping

Red Cross volunteer delivers heater meals to Carlos Saca, a resident of Lost Valley, NJ. Across the East Coast the Red Cross is helping those communities affected by the storm. Photo by Dennis Drenner/American Red Cross

Tropical Storm Lee.
After Hurricane Irene traveled up the East Coast, Tropical Storm Lee hit the Gulf Coast during Labor Day weekend. Even now, Lee’s remnants are causing historic flooding as the rain clouds dump huge amounts of water along its path. But in all of the states affected — from Louisiana to Pennsylvania and New York — the Red Cross is working to help evacuated residents. And although the rivers are expected to crest sometime today, the clean-up work will remain for many weeks to come.

  • More than 4000 people spent Thursday night in 58 shelters in New York and Pennsylvania
  • Dozens of Emergency Response Vehicles have been mobilized to provide food and supplies to the states
  • Almost 60,000 ready-to-eat meals are in route to PA in anticipation of the flood-related needs
Texas Wildfires.
As one of the most destructive wildfires in history rages across thousands of acres in Texas, thousands of people have been forced from their homes. The strong winds produced by Tropical Storm Lee added fuel to the fire’s scorching march across the landscape.
  • In one night, 13 Red Cross shelters housed more than 420 displaced residents
  • Officials report that more than 880 homes have already been destroyed
  • The Red Cross is also supporting the emergency responders with food and critical hydration

Red Cross workers make their way through devastated neighborhoods throughout West Texas. Photo Credit: Phil Beckman/American Red Cross

Worldwide First Aid Day.
Each year, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world observe World First Aid Day. The day is marked on the second Saturday of September and communities are preparing for it around the globe. Since September is National Preparedness Month, we thought we’d use this opportunity to remind everyone about the importance of knowing First Aid so you can act quickly an appropriately in any emergency situation.

Red Cross Remembering 9/11.
This weekend marks the 10th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Before the smoke cleared, the American Red Cross met the challenge of the 9/11 attacks with immediate on-the-scene responses from chapters in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania. As the embers smoldered and eventually burned out, Red Cross work continued. Massive Red Cross relief operations, staffed primarily by volunteers and made possible by the generosity of donors, provided mental and physical health support for hundreds of thousands, fed millions and sheltered more than 3,500 families. Thousands of Red Cross volunteers from all 50 states sprang to action. Shock, anger, pain and disbelief spurred many more to also become Red Cross volunteers.  In the article here, you can read reflections from 11  Red Cross volunteers who helped with the response.

 
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