Tuesday, August 19, 2019 – As Tropical Storm Fay continues to threaten Florida and neighboring states, the American Red Cross has over 500 workers providing food and shelter, the majority of them residents of Florida.
Photo: Courtesy Tom McFadden/American Red Cross
More hurricanes have hit Florida than other state in this country. There is a list of over 450 that have affected weather and lives in the Sunshine State. In the last 157 years, there have been only 18 years without a hurricane impacting the state. Florida storms have killed over 10,000 people and caused over $115 billion in damage, primarily from Hurricane Andrew and the 2004/2005 hurricanes.
In response to this stormy history, almost 5,000 Florida residents have been trained to help their neighbors and friends, and are ready to be called upon during major disasters. In addition, Red Cross chapters in the state are prepared to respond to hurricanes and other emergencies. There are nearly 30 feeding trucks, a strong system to warehouse goods necessary during the disaster, and a large stock of cots, blankets, and other supplies.
"Florida residents realize there is a possibility they may be impacted by hurricanes and other disasters," said Abi Weaver, Tampa Bay Chapter, "They identify with those who are impacted. Sometimes they decide to get trained after they have actually had to use a shelter themselves."
Red Cross is committed to providing faster response, more efficiently, by providing chapters with what they need to increase their response capacity, and build relationships that improve community readiness.
At present, the Red Cross Disaster Fund is empty. Red Cross expended all disaster relief funds responding to Hurricane Dolly, this year’s record tornado season, flooding in the Midwest, and an early wildfire season. In addition to Tropical Storm Fay, Red Cross is also responding to flooding in south Texas and the Grand Canyon.
The best way to help is by donating to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. You can make your contribution by calling 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish), or mail your donations to your local Red Cross chapter. You can also mail your donations to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.
All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like Tropical Storm Fay, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.