Area Red Cross joining effort to aid ‘Superstorm’ victims

Area Red Cross joining effort to aid ‘Superstorm’ victims

By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Help is on the way from West Tennessee for victims of Hurricane Sandy.
American Red Cross volunteers and resources from across the region are mobilizing to help out, according to Kim Cribb, community development and public affairs manager for the American Red Cross office in Memphis.
Thousands of people across nine states have taken refuge from Hurricane Sandy in American Red Cross shelters.
More than 9,000 people spent Tuesday night in 171 Red Cross shelters in 13 states — New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, Indiana and Ohio.
The Red Cross has deployed more than 1,300 disaster workers to the region from all over the country to help those affected by the storm. As many as 160 emergency vehicles are ready to respond when it is safe to do so, and more than 230,000 ready-to-eat meals have been sent into the area.
The Dyer County Red Cross chapter is soliciting funds to help victims of the hurricane, according to chapter executive Lynn Fritchey. She said the Dyer County chapter isn’t sending any volunteers to help with the storm recovery effort, but is working on financially supporting recovery efforts.
“We’re trying to raise funds for victims of that area,” Ms. Fritchey told The Messenger today.
Anyone interested in sending a donation to help with the storm recovery effort may mail their contribution to American Red Cross, Dyer County Chapter, P.O. Box 508, Dyersburg, TN 38024, and stipulate the donation is for the storm recovery effort.
Ms. Fritchey said several volunteers from the Jackson Red Cross chapter have already been dispatched to the storm ravaged coast.
The powerful hurricane devastation across New Jersey and into New York, with ongoing news coverage of the storm’s aftermath dominated by images of what appears to be a war zone. The storm blasted the Northeast coastal region and has had a major impact on public transportation.
Hurricane Sandy has forced the cancellation of nearly 100 Red Cross blood drives, and there could be more as the week goes on. This means a loss of as many as 3,200 blood and platelet products, according to the American Red Cross.
“Patients will still need blood despite the weather,” said Dr. Richard Benjamin, chief medical officer of the Red Cross. “To ensure a sufficient national blood supply is available for those in need, both during and after the storm passes, it is critical that those in unaffected areas make an appointment to donate blood as soon as possible.”
“This will be a large, costly relief response and the Red Cross needs help now,” Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of disaster services for the Red Cross said. “People can help by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief online, by text or by phone.”
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 10.31.12

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