The American Red Cross, including the Southwestern New York Chapter, has a massive response to Superstorm Sandy under way to help people across multiple states.
The Red Cross is providing aid and comfort to thousands and has large relief operations underway in New York and New Jersey, where residents felt Sandy's biggest impact. Shelters and feeding sites are open and emergency vehicles are distributing food, water and relief supplies in these states.
"As we learn about neighborhoods in need, the Red Cross is immediately putting plans in place to provide people with food, water and relief supplies," said Charley Shimanski, Red Cross Disaster Services senior vice president. "This is a challenging time for everyone who has been affected by the storm and we want everyone to know that we are doing everything possible to get help to them as quickly as possible."
Volunteers Gary Brandel, left, of Long Island and Holly Ann Woloszyn, right, from the Southwestern New York Chapter at work providing client services at the Red Cross shelter in Deer Park, Long Island.
Thousands of people have spent the night in hundreds of Red Cross shelters since the storm began its onslaught on the country.
The Red Cross has already served more than 100,800 meals and snacks and mobilized more than 2,300 disaster workers and almost 200 emergency vehicles so far and more are being deployed.
"The storm has left devastation in its wake and we will be helping people for weeks to come," said Kathy Burch, Southwestern New York chapter assistant chapter executive. "This will be very costly and the Red Cross needs help now. We ask everyone to support us as we help people recover from this massive storm."
The response to Sandy is very large and very costly and the Red Cross needs the public's help. People can make a financial donation by visiting www.redcross.org, call 1-800-733-2767 or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to the local Red Cross Offices in Jamestown at 325 E. Fourth St., in Olean at 452 N. Barry St., and in Wellsville at 112 N. Main St.
The storm has also caused the cancellation of hundreds of Red Cross blood drives, resulting in a loss of as many as 11,000 blood products. People eligible to donate are asked to donate blood, especially if they live outside the areas impacted by the storm.
To schedule a donation time or get more information about giving blood, visit redcrossblood.org or call 800-733-2767.
To give blood, someone must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health. Donors should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive identification.