Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
More than 5,300 American Red Cross workers from all over the country are providing aid and comfort to people affected by Superstorm Sandy.
Shelters are open across multiple states and feeding operations continue to increase as communities become accessible.
Eleven Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV) and 69 volunteers and staff from the Red Cross Mississippi Region are responding to the disaster in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, assisting in shelters, logistics, client casework and feeding from fixed sites and mobile units.
“Over the weekend we deployed an additional 18 Mississippi Red Crossers to help provide disaster relief in some of the Sandy-affected states," said Tinika Fails, regional deployment and training manager for Mississippi. "Currently, we have 64 volunteers and five employees from the region on the ground working hard to provide comfort and aid."
According to Mississippi Red Cross officials, more than 4,100 people stayed in 61 Red Cross shelters in seven states Sunday night. The entire Red Cross fleet of 320 response vehicles has been activated to distribute meals, water, snacks and relief supplies. Over the weekend, 60 trailers of relief supplies such as personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, rakes, shovels, tarps, dust masks, and work gloves arrived. Distribution is on-going.
If people in Mississippi have family, friends or loved ones in disaster areas seeking shelter, they can download the Red Cross hurricane app at www.redcross.org/mobile-apps/hurricane-app, visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or check local media outlets. They should also register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website at www.redcross.org/find-help/contact-family/register-safe-listing, a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies. To register, visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). This site also connects with the Twitter and Facebook accounts of users.
“The people in Mississippi have always been wonderful when it comes to helping others." said Sandra Hodge, CEO, Mississippi Region. “Red Cross needs their support again as we help people affected by this devastating storm."
Financial donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. To donate, people can visit www.mississippi-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 Red Cross chapter.
Nearly 365 Red Cross blood drives have already been cancelled due to the storm, and there could be more as the week goes on. If anyone is eligible, especially in places not affected by the storm, they are asked to please schedule a blood donation now. In Mississippi, people can donate blood through the Red Cross in Jackson, George, Harrison, Hancock, Greene and Stone counties. To schedule a blood donation or get more information about giving blood, people can visit www.mississippi-redcross.org/south-mississippi/blood-services or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).