Red Cross Responds To Devastating Effects Of Hurricane Irma

By Newsroom America Staff at 12 Sep 2017

(Newsroom America) -- After engulfing the entire state of Florida, Irma is now a strong tropical storm as it makes its way out of the state. The American Red Cross is responding all over Florida and across the Southeast, alongside a huge team of partners working to provide safe refuge and support to people forced from their homes by the storm.

Irma is still a powerful storm with strong winds, and surge warnings for as high as 6 feet. There is a possibility of tornadoes and as much as 15 inches of rainfall for some areas.

In Florida, more than 6.3 million people have been asked to evacuate and another six million people are without electricity. Utility companies are working to restore power and many communities are under strict curfews. People should not attempt to go home until officials say it is safe to do so.

Disasters like Irma create more needs than any one organization can meet alone. The Red Cross is working very closely with the entire response community – government agencies, other non-profit groups, faith-based organizations, area businesses and others – to coordinate emergency relief efforts and get help to people as quickly as possible.

In close collaboration with partners, the Red Cross has a massive relief effort underway to provide safe shelter and help to those in need.

Overnight, an estimated 208,000 people sought refuge from Hurricane Irma in as many as 680 government and Red Cross evacuation centers across 6 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This includes:

In Florida, an estimated 200,000 people in 587 evacuation centers. In Georgia, more than 6,500 people in over 40 evacuation centers. In Alabama, about 40 people in 16 evacuation centers. In South Carolina, about 660 people in 23 evacuation centers. On the U.S. Virgin Islands, almost 380 people in 6 evacuation centers. In Puerto Rico, 154 people in 6 evacuation centers. In Tennessee, 131 people in 4 evacuation centers. In North Carolina, 33 people in 4 evacuation centers.

To date, evacuation centers have provided more than 377,000 overnight stays to people needing a safe place to go.

More than 1,800 Red Cross workers are responding to Irma now with 400 more volunteers on the way.

Almost 100 emergency response vehicles have been activated to help deliver meals and relief supplies.

More than 55 million hurricane and flood alerts have been issued through Red Cross mobile apps for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The apps provide shelter locations and real-time information so people can help protect themselves and their loved-ones.

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