Relief is pouring in for the millions on the East Coast struggling with flood damage and power outages caused by superstorm Sandy, but recovery could be a long slog.
Out-of-state utilities have sent crews in to help restore power, and nonprofits are feeding and housing storm victims. The Salvation Army has been helping hundreds of people with shelters in New Jersey alone, as well as providing food and water to first responders. The organization is also sending out “mobile feeding units” from Western Pennsylvania to the Garden State, New York, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia.
The American Red Cross is gathering donations for the relief effort. The organization has put up tens of thousands of displaced residents who were left homeless in the wake of superstorm Sandy since it hit on Monday night. On Wednesday, some 7,000 people spent the night in 115 Red Cross shelters in nine states, according to officials. Click here to find a shelter.
Those wishing to donate to the relief effort can text the phrase "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 contribution for every message sent. In addition, iTunes users will also find a donate button located on the main page for the iTunes store set up specifically for Sandy relief. People can also make contributions by calling 1-800-733-2767.
“Our first priority is to get people the help they need – providing families and individuals with a safe place to stay and food to eat,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. “While it is too early to know the full extent of Sandy’s damage, we expect to be working with a variety of partners to help people for the next several weeks.”
The Red Cross estimates that they have received over $11 million in donations as of Wednesday morning and is urging people who live in states unaffected by the storm to donate blood as over 100 blood drives were cancelled after the storm leaving a shortage.
Many large corporations are pitching in as well donating large sums of money towards relief and clean-up efforts.
Lowe’s, BNY Mellon, Capital One, Wells Fargo, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz, all have donated $1 million each. Kellogg Cereal Company, and Toys ‘R’ Us have so far donated $500,000 each. Bank of America has donated the same amount to the American Red Cross and will match the amount in donations to states affected by Sandy.
Some have asked for the public’s help with relief and shelter.
Fairfield University in Connecticut has asked its alumni to help with temporary housing for students.
“The authorities from the Town of Fairfield have indicated that the Fairfield beach area will be uninhabitable for an extended period of time," read an email sent out by the college. "Fairfield University is asking our alumni from across Connecticut to consider hosting beach resident students who have been displaced by Hurricane Sandy until they can move back into their homes, or find a more permanent residency option in the area. We are estimating that students will need housing for a minimum of four to eight weeks.”
Anyone willing to help with shelter for students can go to this link to apply.
The states of New Jersey and New York have asked for volunteers to help with response teams and at shelters.
The Garden State has asked volunteers to call 1-800-JERSEY-7 to sign up while New York City asked those interested in helping to email their name, phone number, and borough of residence to firstname.lastname@example.org.