While the American Red Cross continues supporting two large-scale relief and recovery responses for communities reeling from the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, two new hurricanes – Jose and Maria – are posing a threat to the Caribbean and the U.S. East Coast and residents still trying to recover from Hurricane Irma.
A gift to Disaster Relief helps the Red Cross and its volunteers to provide the much needed help and hope – preparedness, response and recovery in times of disaster.
HURRICANE IRMA RELIEF
Irma ravaged much of Florida’s 65,755 square miles. Over a week after landfall, the American Red Cross is part of a large team of partners who have launched a massive relief response to provide safe shelter, food and comfort to people who have been affected by Hurricane Irma.
Red Cross workers are providing food, shelter, health services and emotional support. Red Cross vehicles are fanning out in affected neighborhoods, delivering meals and relief supplies to people cleaning up their homes. Caseworkers are meeting with people still in shelters to help get some normalcy back in their lives by identifying their needs and connecting them to services and resources to help begin their recovery. Workers continue to expand into more communities each day to provide meals and relief supplies.
On Sunday night, almost 3,600 people were provided refuge from Hurricane Irma with 3,000 Red Cross workers in 55 government and Red Cross evacuation shelters across Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This includes:
• In Florida, more than 3,200 people in 47 evacuation shelters;
• In Puerto Rico, more than 182 people in three evacuation shelters; and
• To date, evacuation centers have provided more than half a million (541,000) overnight stays to people needing a safe place to go.
• Along with our partners, served more than 747,000 meals and snacks across six states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
• Distributed more than 88,000 relief items like diapers, bug spray, cleaning supplies, coolers, and comfort kits.
• Mental health and health services professionals have provided more than 16,000 contacts to provide support and care to those affected.
• More than 120 emergency response vehicles have been activated to help.
It’s been more than three weeks since Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of Texas and Louisiana, and the American Red Cross continues to provide shelter, food, relief supplies and more to people in need. Red Cross response vehicles and volunteers are fanning out across neighborhoods to distribute nutritious meals and relief supplies, such as diapers, bug spray, cleaning supplies, coolers, and comfort kits that contain deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other hygiene items. Red Cross disaster workers are also providing health services such as replacing lost medications and eyeglasses, emotional support and spiritual care to people affected by this devastating storm.
Overnight, more than 4,600 people sought refuge in 25 Red Cross and partner shelters across Texas and Louisiana. To date, there have been nearly 394,000 overnight shelter stays for Hurricane Harvey.
More than 3,500 Red Cross disaster workers are on the ground in Texas. Together, they have helped more than 365,000 people and:
• Along with our partners, served more than 2.3 million meals and snacks in Texas and Louisiana;
• Activated more than 170 emergency response vehicles to help deliver meals and relief supplies;
• Provided nearly 76,000 health and mental health contacts to provide support and care to those affected;
• Distributed nearly 655,000 relief items like diapers, bug spray, cleaning supplies, coolers, and comfort kits,
• Distributed $45 million in financial assistance to more than 100,000 qualified households who needed immediate help.
Transitioning Out of Shelters
Thousands of people remain in emergency shelters and the Red Cross is there, making sure people get the help they need as they plan their next steps. Red Cross caseworkers are meeting with thousands of people still in shelters to help get some normalcy back in their lives. This includes identifying each person’s individual needs and connecting them to the critical services and resources they need on their path to recovery.
Emergency shelters aren’t typically intended to stay open for long periods of time—that’s why organizations involved in relief efforts strive to help people find more suitable accommodations if their homes are left unlivable after a disaster. The owners of many shelter facilities are also ready to get back to normal business. Some of the people staying in shelters who can’t return home are being helped through government programs, which may include relocating survivors to hotels or other temporary housing solutions. Some shelter residents will be helped through other community programs.