Red Cross Prepares for Massive Relief Response As Hurricane Florence Nears U.S. Coast

September 13, 2018

September 12, 2018 — The American Red Cross is preparing for a large relief effort across multiple states as Hurricane Florence continues its march toward the East Coast. This is a dangerous storm predicted to grow even stronger and the Red Cross urges people in its path to obey evacuation orders and get ready now.

The Red Cross is preparing to help as many as 100,000 people in the affected areas and is working with state and local officials to identify and prepare evacuation shelters. More than 700 disaster workers are in route to the regions to help. The Red Cross is also deploying vehicles, equipment and relief supplies and will continue to do so until it is no longer safe to travel.

As the storm passes, the Red Cross is preparing to provide shelter for tens of thousands of people until they can return home or find other places to stay.

Some evacuation shelters may not have cots, food, running water or electricity; they are meant to safely house people for about 72 hours until the storm passes and weather conditions improve. If needed, local government officials may transition evacuation centers into emergency shelters if residents can’t return home after the storm passes. The Red Cross supports pre-landfall evacuation centers and post-landfall emergency shelters with trained workers, shelter supplies and other aid.

Get tips on how to prepare and stay safe at redcross.org/hurricane.

HOW YOU CAN HELP The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by Hurricane Florence by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word FLORENCE to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.

The Red Cross honors donor intent. Donors can designate their donation to Hurricane Florence relief efforts by choosing that option when donating on redcross.org or on 1-800-RED CROSS. The best way to ensure your donation will go to a specific disaster is to write the specific disaster name in the memo line of a check. We also recommend completing and mailing the donation form on redcross.org with your check.

PLEASE GIVE BLOOD The Red Cross has pre-positioned additional blood products and stocked many of our hospitals to capacity in areas of the Southeast likely to be impacted by the storm over the upcoming days. We are prepared to send more blood products to ensure patient needs continue to be met. Ahead of the storm, Red Cross Blood Services employees are also preparing facilities and equipment in case of power outages by ensuring back-up generators are working properly and vehicles are fueled.

We encourage eligible donors in parts of the country unaffected by the storm to give blood or platelets to help ensure a sufficient blood supply. Some Red Cross blood drives have already been cancelled and additional cancellations are expected in the Southeast in the days ahead. Platelet and type O blood donations are especially needed right now. 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).