Thursday, September 2, 2010
Red Cross Ready to Respond to Hurricane Earl
Red Cross shelters are expected to open this afternoon in North Carolina, and additional shelters are poised to open in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, with emergency planning continuing in ten other states along the coast. Up-to-date shelter location information is readily available on www.redcross.org by clicking “Find a Shelter.”
Hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings have been issued by the National Hurricane Center from North Carolina to Maine. More than 350 trained Red Cross disaster workers have been deployed to North Carolina, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, along with more than 60 emergency vehicles.
“Hurricane Earl is big and powerful, and even a glancing blow will mean high winds and flooding,” said Joe Becker, senior vice president, Red Cross Disaster Services. “The Red Cross is ready – from the Carolina coast to Maine – and people in those areas should be prepared, too. We urge residents to stay informed and be prepared should the storm affect their areas.”
In North Carolina, additional Red Cross shelters are on standby to open if needed. The Red Cross has deployed 183 disaster workers to the state to support efforts there, along with 37 emergency response vehicles and two trailers of additional disaster relief supplies to add to what is already in the state.
Should the storm turn toward the New York coastal area, shelter locations have been identified in Nassau and Suffolk counties and New York City.
Further up the coast in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, shelters are ready to open and 171 disaster workers have deployed to the area to assist those who may be affected by the Category 4 hurricane. The Red Cross has 24 emergency response vehicles in the two states, with two trailers of disaster relief supplies on the way to supplement what is already available in the area.
The Red Cross is working with various state, county and local government officials to determine what their areas will need. Emergency planning is taking place in North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
People who are evacuating can register on the Red Cross Safe and Well Website, accessible at www.redcross.org, so that friends and relatives can find out how they are. For those who don’t have internet access, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to register yourself and your family. Follow the prompts for disaster information.
The Red Cross pre-positions supplies near disaster prone areas to speed up the time it takes to respond to storms like Hurricane Earl. This ability to respond quickly is due to the financial support in advance of disasters by companies and organizations that are members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP). Members of the ADGP program include Altria Group, American Express, AXA Foundation, Cisco Foundation, ConAgra Foods, Darden Restaurants, Inc., FedEx Corporation, GE Foundation, General Motors Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, John Deere Foundation, Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Lowe’s Companies, Inc., Merck, Morgan Stanley, Nationwide Insurance Foundation, Northrop Grumman, Ryder Charitable Foundation, State Farm, State Street Foundation, Target, The TJX Companies, Inc., UnitedHealthcare and UPS.
The storms in the Atlantic Ocean are causing powerful rip currents. The Red Cross advises anyone visiting the shore areas to swim only on lifeguard protected beaches and within designated swimming areas.
To make a financial donation to the Red Cross to help people affected by this storm and other disasters here in the United States and around the world, people can click, call or text – visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. The storm may also impact blood collections in the affected areas. To find out how you can be a blood donor, visit www.redcrossblood.org