WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross continues to increase its relief operation to provide food, shelter, supplies and comfort to more and more people affected by Superstorm Sandy.
"Every day we're sending more and more workers and supplies into these states as quickly as possible," said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. "Given the possibility for a nor'easter to hit next week, we are dedicating as many resources as we can to these hard-hit areas."
The entire Red Cross fleet of 320 response vehicles has been activated to distribute hot meals, water, snacks and relief supplies. In order to help people find out where they can get these items, the Red Cross has a team of people tracking the location of its emergency vehicles around the clock and communicating those locations at http://newsroom.redcross.org and on social media.More than 5,000 Red Cross workers from all over the country are supporting shelters, providing food and water at fixed sites, and driving through neighborhoods to distribute meals and supplies. Sixty trailers of relief supplies such as personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, rakes, shovels, tarps, dust masks and work gloves are arriving this weekend in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. With millions still without power and cold temperatures forecasted for much of the mid-Atlantic next week, the Red Cross is also mobilizing an additional 80,000 blankets for New Jersey and New York. Thousands of people affected by Sandy continue to seek refuge in shelters; on Saturday night, more than 10,600 people stayed in 123 shelters in nine states. HOW TO HELP The Red Cross response to Sandy is likely to be the biggest Red Cross response in the U.S. in the past five years. Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. They can also use the "donate" feature on the free Red Cross Apps for mobile devices to support this relief response. Contributions may also be sent to local Red Cross chapters or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. PLEASE GIVE BLOOD More than 360 Red Cross blood drives have been cancelled due to the storm, representing a loss of as many as 12,000 blood and platelet products. People who are eligible, especially in places not affected by the storm, are asked to schedule a donation appointment in the days and weeks to come. To schedule a donation time or get more information about giving blood, people can visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To give blood, someone must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health. Donors should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID with them. Some states allow 16-year-olds to give with parental consent. LET LOVED ONES KNOW People can let their loved ones know how they are by using the "I'm Safe" button on the Red Cross Hurricane App, or registering on the Red Cross Safe and Well website. The Hurricane App, which also contains safety tips on what people should do after the storm, can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. To register on Safe and Well, visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). RED CROSS SHELTERS To find a Red Cross shelter, download the Red Cross Hurricane App, visit the Red Cross website, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or check local media outlets. 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 join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org. SOURCE American Red Cross