WASHINGTON, Oct. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than two weeks after Hurricane Matthew began its path of destruction, the American Red Cross has served more than a million meals and snacks, and provided 97,000 overnight shelter stays to people in need, prompting the charity to issue a call for the public's help.
"The effects of Hurricane Matthew are still causing significant flooding in parts of North Carolina and South Carolina. We are here providing food, shelter, relief supplies and other support to help thousands of people whose lives have been upended by this storm," said Brad Kieserman, Red Cross vice president, Disaster Operations and Logistics. "We're in the middle of a vast response, and our work is far from over. The Red Cross will be here as long as people need our help.
MAKE A DONATION The massive Red Cross relief effort in response to Hurricane Matthew in the U.S. could cost between $24 – $28 million as volunteers continue to help in the weeks ahead while residents recover from the devastation – yet, the Red Cross has raised only $8.1 million in designated donations and pledges for the response to Matthew thus far.
The Red Cross depends on donations to provide immediate relief. Help people affected by Hurricane Matthew by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS, or texting the word MATTHEW to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.
RED CROSS RESPONSE Preliminary reports indicate more than 12,000 homes across four states have been affected. The Red Cross has deployed more than three-fourths of its emergency vehicle fleet, along with 5,500 disaster workers to provide relief. Working alongside dozens of partners, this help includes:
- Opened 378 Red Cross and community shelters with more than 97,000 overnight stays in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Today, nearly 1,000 people remain in shelters in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina.
- Served more than 1.1 million meals and snacks with the help of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, and deployed 25 mobile kitchens.
- Distributed more than 238,000 relief items, including hygiene and cleaning supplies.
- Provided almost 23,000 health services, such as replacing lost medications and eyeglasses and emotional support contacts.
ROLL UP A SLEEVE TO REPLENISH THE BLOOD SUPPLY Hurricane Matthew has had far-reaching impacts in the Southeast, forcing the cancellation of approximately 110 blood drives resulting in nearly 3,500 uncollected blood and platelet donations. Right now, there is an emergency need for platelet donations in many areas of the country. Platelets are a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients that must be transfused within five days of donation. Eligible blood and platelet donors are urged to make an appointment as soon as possible to help replenish the blood supply for patients in need. Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
HELPING IN HAITI The American Red Cross, with a permanent team in Haiti of almost 200 staff, continues to work with local and international partners to deliver critical relief to aid many of the 175,000 residents displaced by Hurricane Matthew.
American Red Cross and Haitian Red Cross teams have been distributing items including cholera-kits, hygiene kits and kitchen (cooking) kits, water purification products, shelter items and mosquito nets to meet people's urgent needs. Cholera is an increasing threat due to damaged water systems and the lack of potable water; thus the provision of cholera kits —which contain items like soap, water purification tablets and oral rehydration salts – are an effort to help stem this threat.
The American Red Cross is also supporting the Haitian Red Cross in coordinating between local authorities and other humanitarian organizations, and is working directly with the United States government to help distribute relief supplies.
In addition, the American Red Cross has also brought in and set up generators and telecommunications equipment to support communications capabilities and deployed 11 disaster response specialists to lend their humanitarian relief expertise in areas such as emergency distribution and telecommunications support.
In Haiti, the American Red Cross currently estimates spending more than $4 million to help the country recover. To date, the American Red Cross has received approximately $400,000 in donations and pledges specifically for the Caribbean, including Haiti. In addition, the American Red Cross will utilize some funds raised for the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which were allocated specifically for contingencies and unexpected events such as disasters, as well as funds from grants and other donations designated for international causes.
CORPORATIONS HELP The generous donations from members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and the Disaster Responder Program enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters big and small, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur and help families during the recovery process.
ADGP $1 Million members are: American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Anthem Foundation; Boise Paper; Caterpillar Foundation; Costco Wholesale; Delta Air Lines; Disney; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; The Home Depot Foundation; Humble Bundle; LDS Charities; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; Mazda North American Operations; Merck Foundation; Nationwide Foundation; State Farm; Target; UPS; VSP℠ Vision care for life; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; and The Wawa Foundation.
ADGP $500,000 members are: 3M; Altria Group; American Express; Aon; Bank of America; Capital One; Cisco Foundation; Citi Foundation; Darden Restaurants, Inc. Foundation; Discover; Edison International; Farmers Insurance; Ford Motor Company; Grainger; John Deere Foundation; Johnson Controls; Medtronic; Meijer; Mondelēz International Foundation; National Grid; PepsiCo Foundation; Procter & Gamble Company; Prudential Foundation; Ryder; Southwest Airlines; Sprint; Sunoco; The TJX Companies, Inc.; United Airlines; United Technologies Corporation; Visa; and Wells Fargo.
Disaster Responder Program members are: Alcoa; Almost Family; Astellas USA Foundation; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; AXA; Ball Foundation; BNY Mellon; CarMax; The Clorox Company; Cox Automotive; DTE Energy Foundation; Duke Energy; Entergy Corporation; General Motors Foundation; Harbor Freight Tools; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation; Hi-Rez Studios; HP Foundation; IBM Corporation; IKEA; Ingersoll Rand Foundation; Interstate All Battery Center; Land O'Lakes, Inc.; MetLife Foundation; Morgan Stanley; Neiman Marcus Group; New Balance Foundation; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; PSEG Foundation; PuroClean Disaster Recovery; Red Heart Yarns; SC Johnson; ScriptRelief; Sealed Air; SERVPRO; Southeastern Grocers Home of BI-LO Harveys Winn Dixie; T O Y O T A; The USAA Foundation; U.S. Bank; and U-Haul International.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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SOURCE American Red Cross