After nearly 3 months of deployment on Hurricane Sandy, our Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) are finally home.
More than 300 Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles from around the country and 16,000 volunteers responded to the devastation left by Sandy. The vehicles have been used in the East to continue the delivery of food, water and supplies in the New York – New Jersey area.
Four national rail companies (BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific) are transporting Red Cross ERV’s back to their home chapters for free to cut down on fuel and wear to the vehicles. Locally, Justin Elliott and his amazing team at American Auto Works received the vehicles from Union Pacific, offloaded and stored the vehicles for a few hours until Southern Nevada Red Cross volunteers came to inspect them and drive them home. Due to dead batteries, 2 of the 3 ERVs had to be pushed off the train car by hand – not an easy feat. But thanks to Justin and his pumped up crew, they practically carried them off the car without a [new] scratch.
For the last three months volunteers made their way through neighborhoods delivering up to a thousand meals a day on the trucks. To date, the Red Cross has served more than 12 million meals and snacks and provided more than 110,000 health services and emotional support contacts to people affected by Sandy.
There are more than 700 Red Cross workers still supporting the hard hit communities with their relief work. Volunteers are still providing food, water, relief supplies, health services and emotional support in some areas of New York. We continue to operate fixed feeding sites and provide some mobile feeding in areas where there is still a need. The Red Cross is also helping to fund several community food banks in New York to help provide meals to people in the hardest hit areas. In both New York and New Jersey, trained Red Cross workers are helping provide people assistance with home repairs, rent, utility deposits and connecting them with social service programs.
For the next several months, much of our recovery efforts will be working one on one with people who need a little extra help. Many people are overwhelmed when it comes to disaster recovery, and experienced Red Cross workers can help survivors get in touch with programs they need for their individual recovery. Some things include:
Help finding housing
Connections to local social service programs or new Sandy recovery programs
Help with filling out insurance claims
Finding child care resources
Remember: Sandy survivors are in various stages of emotional and physical recovery. Some can leave hotels for more permanent housing while others are still waiting to hear from contractors to help with their homes. Red Cross will continue to be there for months to carry out this important work.
But none of this would be possible without your generosity. Your support of The American Red Cross – whether it’s your time or your donation – continues to ensure that when disaster strikes, a Red Cross volunteer will be around to help.
That should make you feel pretty awesome.