Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Red Cross Warning: Continued NJ Flooding

A special message from the American Red Cross:

In New Jersey, the American Red Cross response is not over. We expect to see the worst flooding in New Jersey today from 2 – 3 pm today. Rivers in the northern New Jersey area are just beginning to crest to heights that far exceed recent flooding activity over the last two years. We anticipate an increased need for sheltering support in the coming days.
Yesterday morning, Somerset County in Central New Jersey had severe water damage causing road blocks and destroying dams and bridges. As of this morning they had 10 shelters with 854 people in Central Jersey.
Additional shelters will be open in the affected areas across the state, as needed.
To date, almost 14,000 New Jersey residents have been housed in 167 American Red Cross shelters before, during and after Hurricane Irene roared over the East Coast.
The number of shelter overnight stays has set a record for disaster relief operations within the state of New Jersey.
To date, 62,290 meals and snacks have been served across New Jersey.
To date, 12, 800 comfort kits, which include a wash cloth, tooth brush, tooth paste, comb, and soap have been distributed to those affected by the disaster. .
8 Emergency Response Vehicles from across the country have arrived in New Jersey before and after the storm. These vehicles are staffed by volunteers who have driven from chapters across the country.
Throughout the state of New Jersey, over 250 staff and volunteers are supporting the disaster relief operation. The Red Cross workers are either local to New Jersey or have arrived from across the country to support those impacted my Hurricane Irene. More are on their way.
This is a big disaster across multiple states, and the response will cost millions.
Hopefully you and your family are safe. To help your neighbors who are affected by Hurricane Irene please donate today to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief efforts.
In the wake of Hurricane Irene, thousands of people have turned to the American Red Cross for help. Many communities from North Carolina to New England are suffering from significant flooding, wind damage and widespread power outages.
We are putting the full force of the Red Cross into action to provide relief. Our response to this storm could last for weeks, helping people get back on their feet.
Right now, our main focus is to continue providing people with shelter and food.
Last night, the Red Cross operated or supported approximately 340 shelters with more than 8,600 residents from North Carolina to New England. This number will fluctuate as we go through this disaster.
Since Friday, we’ve provided more than 48,000 overnight shelter stays.
Red Cross workers are fanning out in communities to assess the devastation and determine how the Red Cross can help people.
We have relief operations in more than a dozen coastal states and thousands of trained disaster workers helping people.
We’ve been working with the Southern Baptist Convention to open three kitchens in North Carolina Monday that will be able to serve about 30,000 hot meals each day to residents cleaning up their homes.
We’ve also made arrangements to have about 1.3 million meals available in North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and New York through our partners.
We have approximately 260 feeding vehicles ready to go into neighborhoods. We’ve engaged every Red Cross feeding truck east of the Rocky Mountains in this relief effort.
Volunteers from organizations like AmeriCorps NCCC, Southern Baptist Convention and Islamic Relief USA are working alongside Red Cross workers in some areas.
The footprint left behind by Irene is very large, stretching out larger than the size of the European continent. The cost of our response will be millions. People who can help are encouraged to click, text or call to donate to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

· Visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

· Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

The Red Cross is urging immediate blood and platelet donations in areas unaffected by this storm and asks that people in affected areas consider donating blood once it’s safe to do so.
The blood supply was already low before the storm and Irene has already caused the cancellation of more than 60 blood drives resulting in a shortfall of more than 2,000 blood donations over the past few days.
We expect these numbers to go up due to storm damage and power outages in many locations.

· Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet height and weight requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height), and who are generally in good health may be eligible to donate blood.

· To schedule an appointment, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or go to redcrossblood.org.

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