Four weeks after Hurricane Irma crashed into Florida leaving behind widespread devastation, the Red Cross and a large team of partners continue to work around the clock to provide shelter, food and comfort to support people whose lives have been turned upside down. Nearly three weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Red Cross is working with government officials and disaster partners to help the hundreds of thousands of people on both island territories who are suffering right now.
After Irma and Maria struck the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Red Cross has:
·Provided safe shelter for 347 people in 5 shelters last night;
·served more than 65,000 meals and snacks;
·handed out more than 65,000 relief items; and
·provided more than 3,400 mental health and health services to people in need.
·Right now, more than 230 trained Red Cross disaster workers are helping.
On the storm-ravaged island of Puerto Rico where 3.1 million people live, Red Cross workers are focused on extensive fixed and mobile distribution of emergency supplies with our partners and a comprehensive reunification strategy, which includes traditional Red Cross programs like Safe & Well and Emergency Welfare Inquiry Response, as well as an innovative mobile Satellite Reunification Mission using virtual satellite communication trucks, ham radio operators and colleagues from several Red Cross societies.
The Red Cross has also mounted what we call our “Inaccessible Communities Mission” aimed at getting to remote parts of Puerto Rico with the most acute need. As we do this mission, we deliver emergency supplies and commodities while assessing the status of fuel stations, food, water and roads, and providing internet connectivity enabling residents to communicate and connect with family members. Meanwhile, our mental health teams initiate hotshots to provide vulnerable health populations with supplies, and our logisticians continue to secure in-bound supplies needed for service delivery.
In Puerto Rico last night, more than 6,900 people stayed overnight in 115 government evacuation shelters. The Red Cross has also:
·Served more than 535,000 meals and snacks;
·Distributed more than 300,000 relief supplies; and
·Provided more than 8,000 mental health and health services to people in need.
·Right now, 445 trained Red Cross disaster workers are helping.
The Red Cross continues providing support to families on the U.S. Mainland impacted by Hurricane Irma. Over 900 Red Cross workers are responding to Irma now.
·On Sunday night, 225 people stayed in 3 emergency shelters in Florida.
·Along with our partners, we have served more than 1.5 million meals and snacks across six states.
·We’ve distributed more than 1 million relief items like diapers, bug spray, cleaning supplies, coolers, and comfort kits containing deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other hygiene items across six states.
·Red Cross volunteers have provided more than 46,000 mental health and health services to support and care for those affected across six states.
·Today, as many as 84 emergency response vehicles are helping to deliver meals and relief supplies across the hardest-hit areas in Florida.
In addition, the Red Cross is beginning to help residents in Florida start the recovery process by connecting them to services and resources they need, including the provision of limited financial assistance for those who qualify ($125 per person or $500 for a family of four). This assistance can help families begin their recovery by providing funds which can be used for such needs as an apartment deposit, to buy clothes or food or to cover immediate transportation expenses.