Hurricane Florence continues its brutal attack on the United States. The American Red Cross is helping people in multiple states as the hurricane pummels the Carolinas with heavy rain, strong winds and dangerous tidal surges. The storm is twice the size of the state of Louisiana,Hurricane Florence is inundating communities and leaving hundreds of thousands of citizens without power.
As Hurricane Florence arrives on land, the Red Cross will provide safe shelter and comfort for evacuees from each of the six targeted states. More than 20,000 people have sought refuge from more than 200 Red Cross and community shelters Thursday night to escape the storm’s wrath.
As of Thursday midnight, 14,000 people were in more than 100 shelters in North Carolina, and more than 5,000 people in over 50 shelters in South Carolina. An additional 400+ people stayed in shelters within Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee and Maryland.
About 2,000 Red Cross disaster workers from all over the country have been mobilized to help shelter, feed and support people affected by Florence. Working with partners, the Red Cross has served 47,000 meals and snacks in North Carolina and South Carolina. To bolster relief efforts, the Red Cross is mobilizing nearly 100 emergency response vehicles and more than 120 trailers of equipment and supplies, including 100,000 ready-to-eat meals and enough cots and blankets for more than 42,000 people.
Some evacuation centers may not have cots, food, running water or electricity; they are meant to safely house people for about 72 hours until the storm passes and weather conditions improve. If needed, local government officials may transition evacuation centers into emergency shelters if residents can’t return home after the storm passes. The Red Cross supports pre-landfall evacuation centers and post-landfall emergency shelters with trained workers, shelter supplies and other aid.
Since September 11, more than 2.5 million weather alerts have been sent through Red Cross apps to help people make lifesaving decisions.
HOW YOU CAN HELP The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by Hurricane Florence by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word FLORENCE to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster. The Red Cross honors donor intent. Donors can designate their donation to Hurricane Florence relief efforts by choosing that option when donating on redcross.org or on 1-800-RED CROSS.
The best way to ensure your donation will go to a specific disaster is to write the specific disaster name in the memo line of a check. We also recommend completing and mailing the donation form on redcross.org with your check.
PLEASE GIVE BLOOD More than 140 blood drives have been canceled through early next week due to Hurricane Florence, resulting in over 4,200 uncollected blood and platelet donations. Eligible donors in unaffected areas are urged to make an appointment now to give blood or platelets to help maintain the nation’s blood supply. There is a critical need to platelet and type O blood donations. Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Get tips on how to prepare and stay safe at redcross.org/hurricane.