Red Cross: 27,000+ in Evacuation Shelters as Hurricane Matthew Hits Florida
Local Red Cross sends 16 to help; Holds training to recruit new volunteers to deploy
PORTLAND, Ore., October 7, 2016 — The American Red Cross has launched a massive sheltering operation in response to Hurricane Matthew with more than 27,000 people seeking refuge in almost 200 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters across three states Thursday night. This included 133 shelters in Florida with more than 22,000 people; 18 shelters in Georgia with more than 2,100 people; and 47 shelters in South Carolina with more than 2,500 people.
Sixteen Red Cross disaster responders from Portland, Beaverton, Junction City, Keizer, John Day, Blodgett, Roseburg, Medford, Salem and Bend, Oregon and Vancouver and Longview, Washington are either on the ground or on their way to South Carolina, Georgia and Florida to assist with hurricane preparations. In coordination with government and community partners, Red Crossers are preparing strategic shelter and warehouse locations, and stocking food, cots, blankets and other relief supplies to help people in harm’s way.
RED CROSS RESPONSE More than 1,800 Red Cross disaster workers are on the ground or traveling to the southeast to support evacuation shelters and response efforts. In addition to providing a safe place to ride out the dangerous storm, the Red Cross is preparing to deliver relief supplies and help people recover from Matthew as soon as it is safe to do so. The Red Cross has deployed numerous emergency response vehicles and 35 trailers filled with items like water, ready-to-eat meals, shelter and kitchen supplies, cleaning supplies and comfort kits, insect repellent, gloves, masks, shovels, rakes, coolers and more. The Red Cross is also working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners to make sure people get the help they need.
The local Red Cross Cascades Region (Oregon and Southwest Washington) is seeking volunteers to help with Hurricane Matthew and other disasters. Volunteer recruitment and training sessions are being held throughout the region next week. Individuals interested in deploying with the Red Cross to help with this relief effort and others are encouraged to attend a training session. No RSVP is required.
HAITI RESPONSE The American Red Cross is working closely with the Haitian Red Cross to assess the extent of damage from Hurricane Matthew and get much-needed supplies to people in need. Three American Red Cross teams in Haiti pre-deployed to the affected areas are currently distributing a first round of lifesaving relief supplies, including hygiene (cooking) kits and cholera-prevention kits.
Destruction in the affected area has complicated transit and communications, however initial assessments indicate major needs are shelter, clean water, sanitation and disease prevention related to water-borne illnesses such as cholera, dengue and Zika. Additional relief supplies, such as water purification products, shelter kits and mosquito nets are being procured locally and internationally. American Red Cross National Headquarters is deploying Disaster Response Specialists, generators and telecommunications equipment to better support the 200 American Red Cross staff in Haiti to accelerate aid and response efforts.
MAKE A DONATION The Red Cross depends on donations to provide immediate relief. Help people affected by Hurricane Matthew in the U.S. by visiting redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS to make a donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.
DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP Everyone should download the Red Cross Emergency App to have safety information available on their mobile device, including emergency weather alerts, preparedness information and shelter locations. Red Cross apps are available in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
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/Cascades or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossCasc.