11.10.2018 20:39:00

Hurricane Michael: Red Cross Helps Thousands in Wake of Deadly Storm's Fury

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- For the second time in just weeks, the American Red Cross is helping thousands of people in the southeast after another devastating hurricane – Michael – slammed into the Gulf Coast yesterday as the third-strongest hurricane in U.S. history.

"Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by this incredibly powerful storm," said Brad Kieserman, Vice President of Disaster Operations and Logistics for the American Red Cross. "We're just beginning to understand the level of destruction, and we know that getting help into some of these areas will be challenging. Right now, our immediate focus is on making sure people have a safe place to stay."

Wednesday night, approximately 7,800 people stayed in as many as 95 Red Cross and community evacuation centers across Florida, Georgia and Alabama. The Red Cross has mobilized more than 800 trained disaster workers to provide shelter, food, health services and emotional support to those in the affected areas. In addition, enough shelter supplies, including cots and blankets, have been pre-positioned to support some 15,000 people. The organization is also working with partners to prepare to serve tens of thousands of meals per day. More volunteers, relief supplies, vehicles and other equipment are being mobilized now.

Since October 9, more than 4.6 million weather alerts have been issued through Red Cross apps, allowing people to make informed and lifesaving decisions. Find out how to prepare and stay safe at redcross.org/hurricane.

MICHAEL IN THE CAROLINAS Tropical Storm Michael is now in the Carolinas, where the storm could drop several inches of rain in areas already saturated by Florence. The Red Cross is still on the ground there, continuing to help people impacted by the earlier storm.

Wednesday night, more than 535 people stayed in 12 Red Cross shelters in the Carolinas. Thousands of Red Cross volunteers, working alongside partners, have served more than 1.55 million meals and snacks, and distributed more than 312,700 relief items like clean up kits, rakes, shovels, bleach, garbage bags and much more to help with the massive clean-up effort there.

HOW YOU CAN HELP This is the second massive hurricane response in the United States in less than a month. Thousands of people are looking to the Red Cross for help, and the organization depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by Hurricane Michael by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word MICHAEL to 90999 to make a $10 donation. 

Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters. The Red Cross honors donor intent. Donors can designate their donation to Hurricane Michael relief efforts by choosing that option when donating on redcross.org or on 1-800-RED CROSS.

CRITICAL NEED FOR BLOOD DONATIONS To meet patient needs, the Red Cross asks eligible individuals unaffected by Hurricane Michael to give blood. The storm has forced the cancellation of dozens of blood drives, causing approximately 700 units of blood to go uncollected in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. More blood drive cancellations are likely, and low donor turnout is expected in the Southeast over the coming days as communities' face expected storm damage and residual flooding.

Before the storm, the Red Cross already had a critical need for blood and platelet donations following Hurricane Florence. Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

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: Adelson Family Foundation; American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Anthem Foundation; Bank of America; Brown & Brown Insurance; Caterpillar Foundation; The Clorox Company; ConocoPhillips; Costco Wholesale; Delta Air Lines; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; Grainger; The Home Depot Foundation; LDS Charities; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; Mazda North American Operations; Microsoft Corp.; Nationwide Foundation; PepsiCo Foundation; State Farm; Verizon; VSP Global; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; and The Walt Disney Company.

ADGP $500,000 members are: 21st Century Fox; Altria Group; AmazonSmile; American Express; Aon; BMW of North America; Capital One; CBS Corporation; Cisco Foundation; Citi Foundation; Darden Restaurants, Inc. Foundation; Discover; Edison International; Energy Transfer/Sunoco Foundation; Ford Motor Company; General Motors; Humble Bundle; IBM Corporation; International Paper; John Deere Foundation; Johnson Controls; LabCorp; Medtronic Foundation; Meijer; Merck Foundation; Mondelēz International Foundation; New Balance Foundation; Nissan; Procter & Gamble Company; PwC; Southwest Airlines; Target; Tata Consultancy Services; TD Ameritrade; The TJX Companies, Inc.; United Airlines; UPS; The USAA Foundation; The Wawa Foundation; and Wells Fargo.

Disaster Responder Program members are: 7-Eleven Cares Foundation; Adobe; AdvoCare International L.P.; Alliance Data; Assurant; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; Avangrid Foundation; AXA Equitable Life; The Ball Foundation; Barclays; Boise Paper; CarMax; Choice Hotels International; Cox Automotive; DICK'S Sporting Goods; Duke Energy; Entergy Corporation; Farmers Insurance; Harbor Freight Tools Foundation, LLC; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation; HP Foundation; HSBC Bank; Ingersoll Rand Foundation; The J.M. Smucker Company; Land O'Lakes, Inc.; Mastercard; Morgan Stanley; Neiman Marcus Group; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; Prudential Financial; Raytheon Company; Rodan + Fields Prescription for Change Foundation; Ryder; SC Johnson; Southeastern Grocers Home of BI-LO Harveys Winn Dixie; Standard Textile; The Starbucks Foundation; Stearns Bank; Toyota; U-Haul International; United Technologies Corporation; U.S. Bank; and Visa.

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.

American Red Cross. (PRNewsfoto/American Red Cross)

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SOURCE American Red Cross

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