EASTERN NC, April 30, 2013 —Six months after Superstorm Sandy destroyed communities and disrupted lives in New York and New Jersey, the American Red Cross issued its six-month progress report detailing its ongoing efforts to help people affected by the storm.
“Signs of recovery can be seen throughout the areas hit by this major storm, and while it will take a long time for the region to rebuild, the Red Cross will be there throughout to help,” said Bill Brent, CEO of the Eastern NC Region of the American Red Cross. “We thank all those whose generous support has enabled the Red Cross to help those affected by this storm.”
LOCAL REPSONSE The Eastern NC Region of the American Red Cross supported Superstorm Sandy preparation and response here at home and throughout the northeast. Before the storm hit, the Red Cross set up command centers staffed with local Red Cross workers in New Bern and Elizabeth City. Four emergency shelters were opened which housed 82 residents whose homes were threatened by storm surge flooding. In eastern NC, 71 local Red Cross workers sheltered, fed and distributed supplies to communities along our coast affected by Sandy. A total of 1,900 meals and snacks were served to local residents in the storms wake along with 45 comfort kits containing hygiene items and 561 clean up kits.
After our communities’ needs were met, the local Red Cross shifted volunteers and resources to areas hit the hardest by Sandy including Virginia, New York and New Jersey. To date, a total of 110 individuals from the American Red Cross Eastern NC Region deployed to assist with the Superstorm Sandy response. Some of those workers took on multiple assignments going back for weeks at a time to help out in the northeast. These volunteers were involved with essential activities including shelter operations, feeding, client casework, distribution of supplies, damage assessment, and health and mental health services. Five emergency vehicles from Red Cross chapters in Elizabeth City, Goldsboro, New Bern, Rocky Mount and Wilmington were driven to the northeast by teams of Red Cross volunteers to help with mobile feeding and bulk distribution of relief supplies.
As Sandy was making its way across the east coast, the Red Cross received a call to assist the survivors of the HMS Bounty. On Monday, October 29th, 2012, amidst treacherous waves and storm surge caused by Superstorm Sandy, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued 14 people from the HMS Bounty, a 180 ft. sailing ship that sank off the coast of Hatteras, NC. Representatives from the Eastern NC Region of the American Red Cross, in collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard, met with the 14 survivors to offer comfort and support after the rescue. Red Cross disaster workers provided the individuals with food, clothing, and shelter, and assisted with additional immediate needs to aid them in their recovery.
SIX MONTHS OF HELPING The Red Cross launched an immediate large-scale relief effort after the storm came ashore – the largest U.S. disaster response by the Red Cross in more than five years. Following weeks of providing emergency relief, today the Red Cross has a long-term recovery operation underway. At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other government partners, the Red Cross is working with about 9,000 families whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged.
The Red Cross is helping these families find new places to live, clean mold from their water-logged homes, get emotional support during their struggle and financial support as they work to put their lives back together. Trained Red Cross workers are meeting one-on-one with people to help provide assistance with home repairs, rent, utility deposits and available social service programs.
GRANT PROGRAMS The Red Cross is also giving grant money to other non-profit groups to support the help they are providing to those affected by Sandy. This includes giving nearly $6 million in grants to three food banks in New York to help ensure people continue to get the food they need. A grant of $500,000 has been given to Operation Hope to provide assistance and financial counseling to survivors. Another $5 million has gone to a mold remediation program to help New York residents clean up their homes.
RED CROSS RELIEF In these past six months more than 17,000 Red Cross disaster workers – about 90 percent of them volunteers – have responded to help those affected by Sandy. The Red Cross has:
- Served more than 17 million meals and snacks
- Distributed more than 7 million relief items such as cold weather items and clean-up supplies
- Provided almost 113,000 health services and emotional support contacts for people living in very tough conditions
- Provided more than 81,000 shelter stays.
Approximately $302 million was donated to the Red Cross as of April 18 to help those affected by Sandy, and the Red Cross has spent or made commitments to spend about $192 million, which is nearly two-thirds of the contributions to date.
The Red Cross is committed to spending all money donated for Sandy to help the people and communities affected by this storm,
The six-month report and other information on the Red Cross Sandy relief and recovery efforts can be found at www.redcross.org/sandy-response.
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.