American Red Cross staff are providing shelter, food and emotional support for thousands affected by Hurricane Ike.
Raymond McGee, age 13, helps Red Cross volunteers serve lunch at the San Antonio, Texas, shelter in which he and his family are staying. Photos by Dennis Drenner for the American Red Cross.
Last night, as Hurricane Ike came ashore, the Red Cross sheltered more than 20,000 people across four states. More than 2,500 Red Crossers offered comfort and hope—making sure plenty of cots, blankets, toiletries, smiles and hugs were on hand for storm-weary Gulf Coast residents.
Over 120 Red Cross mobile feed trucks are poised to assist in the delivery of food, water and bulk supplies to people returning to their homes. When Ike has passed and it is safe to enter the affected areas, more than 25 kitchens, capable of feeding up to 500,000 meals a day, are ready to be put in place. In addition to freshly prepared food, the Red Cross has over one million shelf stable meals ready for distribution.
Although search and rescue is a mission for Federal, state and local governments, the Red Cross is ready to accept those rescued into evacuation shelters. The Red Cross has also moved blood products into Northern Texas to address possible medical needs resulting from the catastrophic storm.
Don’t let your loved ones worry about your safety. Tell them you are safe by registering on the Safe and Well Web site, accessible at www.redcross.org. The Web site allows those directly affected by a disaster to let family and friends know of their well-being. For those without internet access, call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) to register. Follow the prompts for disaster information.
As the Red Cross continues helping individuals and families battered by the 2008 storms and hurricanes, the organization launched a national fundraising campaign to raise an initial $100 million to fill a Disaster Relief Fund depleted by an active year of disasters. The Disaster Relief Fund allows the Red Cross to provide emergency assistance to help victims of disasters meet their immediate needs for food, shelter, counseling and other critical services.
To make a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, log-on to www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). You can also use your cell phone to donate $5 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by text messaging they keyword "GIVE" to "2HELP" (24357). You can send multiple donations depending on your carrier. Contributions will appear on monthly bills or be debited from a pre-paid account balance. All applicable text rates apply.
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 the Hurricanes of 2008, 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-RED CROSS 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.