As Hurricane Matthew nears the southeast coast of the United States, the American Red Cross is on the ground helping people who are in the path of this life-threatening storm.
As many as 3,600 people spent Wednesday night in 84 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. This number is expected to grow as Matthew closes in on the United States and evacuation orders continue to be issued.
In addition to shelters, the Red Cross has more than 500 disaster workers and 90 response vehicles ready to help in the affected states and more help is standing by. The Red Cross has also prepositioned more than 30 trailer loads of shelter supplies, ready-to-eat meals, clean-up and comfort kits.
The Red Cross is closely monitoring the storm and working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners to make sure people get the help they need.
“Hurricane Matthew could leave widespread devastation in its wake and untold amounts of need for food, shelter and help,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president, Disaster Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. “This is a time for neighbors and communities to come together and support one another. We are proud to stand alongside our partners to serve those in need of our help.”
Red Cross blood drive cancellations have more than doubled in the past 24 hours as the storm nears. Already, Hurricane Matthew has forced the cancellation of approximately 30 Red Cross blood drives in Georgia and South Carolina resulting in nearly 1,200 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. Dozens of additional blood drive cancellations are possible along the southern East Coast depending on the path and impact of the storm.
With blood drives being cancelled, those living in the Red Cross Western Missouri Region are urged to give blood or platelets to help ensure there is a readily available blood supply for patients in need. Even before the threat of Hurricane Matthew, there was an urgent need for donors of all blood types, especially type O. 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).
Here are the scheduled blood donation sites in the Kansas City Metro Area.
Oct. 19, 3 p.m.-7p.m., Leawood at State Line, 2140 W. 137th Ter.;
Oct. 21, 2 p.m.-6 p.m., Mission 106 Luxury Apartments, 3701 W. 106th St.;
Oct. 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Creative One, 11460 Tomahawk Creek Pkwy.
Oct. 24, 2 p.m.-6 p.m., Domain City Center, 8800 Penrose Ln.;
Oct. 28, 3 p.m.-7 p.m., Park Edge Apartments, 8201 Renner Rd.;
Oct. 31, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Healing Arts Center, 15545 W. 87th St.
Oct. 20, 1 p.m.- 5 p.m., Olathe Indian Creek, Santa Fe Square Shopping Center, 13511 S. Mur-Len Rd, Suite 129;
Oct. 22, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., The Healthcare Resort of Olathe, 21250 W. 151st St.;
Oct. 29, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Rawhide Harley-Davidson, 725 N. Rawhide Rd.
Oct. 25, 2 p.m.-6 p.m., Residences at Prairiefire, 5750 W. 137th St.;
Oct. 28, 9 a.m.- 1 p.m., Valley View Bank, 7500 W. 95th St..
Oct. 17, 3 p.m.-7 p.m., Platte County Community Center South, 8875 Clark Ave.
Parkville: Oct. 27, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Park University, 8700 NW River Park Dr.
There are approximately 1 million people currently in shelters in Haiti, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. The overwhelming number of these is in Cuba. There are 20 confirmed deaths in Haiti, where 80 percent of all homes in the western part of Haiti have been damaged. Extensive flooding continues, which is leading to fears of cholera, as well as damaging crops, agriculture and livelihoods. Fortunately, the airports have reopened, allowing for the UN to fly in much-needed supplies.
Working with our partners, Red Cross staff will continue to work throughout the affected Caribbean to deliver much-needed humanitarian supplies, relief, and care.
Everyone should download the Red Cross Emergency App to have safety information available on their mobile device, including emergency weather alerts, preparedness information and shelter locations. Red Cross apps are available in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
The work of the American Red Cross starts long before a hurricane makes landfall in the United States. For example, we have warehouses stocked with disaster relief supplies, thousands of trained workers, and more than 320 mobile response vehicles on standby year-round to be ready to help people in need. If we didn’t maintain these resources 24/7, we couldn’t get help to people in a timely fashion—but we depend on donations from the American public to be ready.
The best way to help people affected by disasters like hurricanes, floods and countless other crises by making a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small across the United States. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.