International Federation of Red Cross supporting Bahamas relief efforts
BUFFALO, NY, Wednesday, September 4, 2019 - As Hurricane Dorian continues to move along the U.S. coast, the American Red Cross is working around the clock to support communities from Florida to North Carolina still under evacuation orders. Millions of people live in areas that could be impacted by wind, rain, flooding and a high storm surge, even if Dorian doesn’t make direct landfall. While the storm is beginning to shift past Florida, hundreds of Red Cross volunteers are coordinating with partners to support people seeking refuge in hurricane evacuation centers in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Tuesday night, more than 9,000 people stayed in 140 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Along with our partners, the Red Cross has served more than 19,000 meals and snacks. In advance of Dorian, some 110 emergency response vehicles and 104 tractor-trailer loads full of relief supplies, including cots, blankets, and 63,000 ready-to-eat meals have been deployed.
More than 1,900 trained Red Cross responders from all over the country are helping to support relief efforts, including 23 volunteers from Western and Central New York. 21 regional volunteers are working in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, while two are supporting the efforts virtually (updates in bold):
HOW YOU CAN HELP You can make a difference in the lives of people impacted by Hurricane Dorian. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word DORIAN to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster. This includes providing food, shelter, relief supplies, emotional support, recovery planning and other assistance.
PLEASE GIVE BLOOD To assist local blood centers in Florida, the Red Cross sent approximately 350 blood products to ensure patients have access to lifesaving blood as hurricane warnings and evacuations keep many from giving. The Red Cross also pre-positioned additional blood products and stocked our hospitals in areas of the Southeast likely to be impacted by the storm this week.
Hurricane Dorian has forced the cancellation of nearly 50 Red Cross blood drives and donation centers in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina resulting in more than 1,200 uncollected blood and platelet donations. We urge eligible individuals in unaffected areas to give blood or platelets to ensure a sufficient blood supply for patients. The Red Cross currently has an urgent need for blood donations following a summer shortage. In addition to cancelled blood drives, we anticipate low blood donor turnout in and around affected areas due to poor weather conditions this week.
Schedule an appointment today by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
INTERNATIONAL RELIEF (BAHAMAS) Our hearts go out to families in the Bahamas dealing with the catastrophic impacts of Hurricane Dorian. With access to the battered islands slowly beginning to open up, the International Federation of the Red Cross and the Bahamas Red Cross have started rolling out a major emergency relief effort. A rapid assessment and response team will move in today to join previously deployed team members and focus on emergency shelter and urgent needs. Red Cross volunteers and staff will also distribute meals and food rations to people who may have gone without food in days, before shifting their focus to distributing cash grants.
Bahamas Red Cross volunteers have been on the ground since day one with pre-positioned relief supplies—such as tarps, hygiene items, jerrycans, and hand-crank cell phone chargers. Additional relief supplies are being loaded at an international logistics hub in Panama and will move as soon as the airports are up and running.
If you have lost contact with a US citizen traveling in the Bahamas, contact the U.S. State Department at 1-888-407-4747.
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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.