INDIANAPOLIS — The American Red Cross is working around the clock to prepare for Hurricane Dorian and help people who have been forced to evacuate.
Currently, 28 Indiana Red Cross volunteers are in multiple states, as Hurricane Dorian makes landfall toward the U.S., southeastern coast. A key concern is that this is a slow-moving storm that could produce several days of dangerous weather. Residents in Florida and surrounding states, like Georgia and the Carolinas, should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and are prepared for severe weather conditions, including strong winds, heavy rainfall and storm surge. While the exact path of Dorian is still uncertain, millions of people live in areas that could be impacted by wind, rain, flooding and a high storm surge, even if the storm doesn’t make direct landfall on the coast.
The Red Cross is coordinating with community partners and emergency responders to prepare evacuation centers as planning estimates indicate as many as 60,000 people in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina may need help. On Monday night, more than 12,200 people stayed in 171 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. This included nearly 11,700 people in 142 shelters in Florida; some 280 people in 10 Red Cross shelters in Georgia; and 290 people in 19 Red Cross shelters in South Carolina. To date, the Red Cross and community organizations have provided nearly 15,000 cumulative overnight stays for Hurricane Dorian.
Give bloodWhile the Red Cross does not typically collect and distribute blood in Florida, we have sent approximately 350 blood products to local blood centers there to ensure patients in need continue to have access to lifesaving blood. The Red Cross has also 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 early next week.
How to help
Disaster relief involves complex responses and the Red Cross needs the public’s support to help the people affected. You can make a difference in the lives of people impacted by Hurricane Dorian. Visit redcross.org, call 800-RED CROSS, or text the word DORIAN to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.