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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Relief: US Resources

Get Help

Health and Safety

Safety is a primary issue when you're recovering from a disaster. Follow these tips to help ensure your safety and cope with the disaster. If you aren't able to return home, states, tribes, localities, and the Red Cross continue to operate emergency shelters along the East Coast. Here's how to find shelter:
  • Stay informed about the federal public health response and recovery effort, food and water safety, preventing disease and injury, safe clean-up, sanitation, and mental health resources.
  • Monitor conditions in your area; find shelter; and let others know you are safe, with the Red Cross Hurricane App.
  • Download the FEMA app to find a map with open shelters and open FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers.
  • Call the Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
  • Search for shelters via text message: text: SHELTER and your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA). For example: Shelter 01234 (standard rates apply).
  • Check local news media outlets.
Responders: People working on clean-up and helping disaster survivors also need to be concerned about their health and safety. The Department of Labor offers technical assistance and resources to help protect the occupational safety and health of workers in disaster areas.
Cancer patients can have can have weakened immune systems and may be at higher risk for infections, bleeding, fatigue, and injury. Call 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) to learn where to receive care if a disaster event disrupts care or displaces patients.

Find Family and Friends

  • Red Cross Safe and Well List  – During a disaster, register yourself as "safe and well" so that family and friends know of your well-being. You can also use the database to search for missing loved ones.
  • Next of Kin National Registry  – Register with, or search, this emergency contact system if you or your family member is missing, injured, or deceased.
  • International Evacuees and Foreign Nationals  – If you are a tourist or other foreign national and cannot reach family members directly, contact your consulate.

Donate and Volunteer

Donate Blood –  caused the cancellation of hundreds of Red Cross blood drives, resulting in a shortage of blood and platelets.
Cash donations are very useful in situations where supplies must be acquired quickly. This is the most efficient way to make an impact with your donations. If you need help in determining who to give to, the National Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster website has a list of major nonprofits that are active in disaster work or you can make your offer through the National Donations Management Network.
Volunteer - Affiliate with existing non-profit organizations before going to the disaster area. Immediately following a disaster, a community can become easily overwhelmed by the amount of generous people who want to help. Contacting and affiliating with an established organization will help to ensure that you are appropriately trained to respond in the most effective way. Be patient: Recovery lasts a lot longer than the media attention. There will be volunteer needs for many months.

Find Volunteer Opportunities