WASHINGTON, Oct. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross is on the ground providing safe shelter, food and relief supplies to help people still suffering from Hurricane Matthew's lingering effects. The storm also continues to impact blood collections in the southeast, resulting in an urgent need for blood and platelet donations across the country.
"Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this devastating storm both in the Southeast and across the Caribbean. Too many lives have tragically been cut short, and tens of thousands of people have been displaced," said Gail McGovern, president and chief executive officer of the Red Cross.
"The Red Cross is working closely with the entire response community to provide safe shelter, water, food and essential relief supplies to affected individuals and families," McGovern continued. "Flooding and damage from the storm are also hurting our ability to collect blood and platelets in impacted areas – and the need for platelet donations is particularly critical right now. It's important to remember that trauma victims, surgery patients, those with cancer and many others count on lifesaving blood and platelet donations each and every day."
HOW TO HELP
MAKE A DONATION 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. Learn more about the Red Cross response to Hurricane Matthew here.
GIVE BLOOD, PLATELETS In parts of the country unaffected by the storm, the Red Cross needs eligible individuals to please give blood or platelets now to help ensure we have a readily available 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).
DISASTER RESPONSE ACROSS THE SOUTHEAST
To help people affected by Hurricane Matthew, the Red Cross has launched a widespread sheltering effort spanning four states and providing as many overnight stays in shelters as after Superstorm Sandy. Nearly 4,800 people in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida woke up Tuesday morning in 90 Red Cross and community shelters. Since Hurricane Matthew first threatened the U.S., Red Cross and community partners have served more than 137,000 meals and snacks, and provided 74,000 overnight stays.
The Red Cross has mobilized 3,000 disaster workers, 155 emergency response vehicles—nearly half of our fleet—and more than 100 trailers filled with water, ready-to-eat meals, cots, blankets, kitchen items, cleaning supplies, insect repellant, gloves, masks, shovels, rakes, coolers and more. More volunteers, vehicles and supplies are being mobilized now to supplement relief efforts.
The Red Cross is also working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners to coordinate response efforts to ensure people receive the help they need as quickly as possible.
FLOODING FORCES MORE BLOOD DRIVE CANCELLATIONS
The Red Cross is struggling to collect much-needed blood and platelet donations as floodwaters inundate communities in the Southeast. In Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, Hurricane Matthew has forced the cancellation of more than 75 Red Cross blood drives, resulting in nearly 2,500 blood and platelet donations going uncollected.
The need for platelets is especially critical due to the loss of these donations in affected areas. Platelets are a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients that must be transfused within five days of donation. Platelet donors can roll up a sleeve every seven days, up to 24 times year.
With additional blood drive cancellations likely due to significant flooding and power outages, the Red Cross urgently needs blood and platelet donations and asks individuals to make an appointment to give now.
In Haiti, more than 200 American Red Cross staff—about 80 percent of whom are Haitian nationals—are helping to distribute immediate relief supplies to the more than 61,000 displaced residents. To address the increasing threat of cholera, the American Red Cross will target cholera-prevention kits to medical facilities.
Given the extent of the damage and the continued difficultly in reaching several of the affected areas, the American Red Cross is also playing a key coordination role with local authorities and international humanitarian organizations to ensure life-saving support and supplies reach all those in need as soon as possible. Generators and telecommunications equipment to augment our support capabilities arrived in Haiti on October 8; additional relief supplies, such as water purification products, shelter kits, and mosquito nets are being procured locally and internationally.
HELP FROM CORPORATIONS
The generous donations from members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and the Disaster Responder Program enable the 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