Red Cross Prepares for Massive Relief Response As Hurricane Michael Roars Ashore :: More Than 375,000 Under Evacuation Orders, May Need Shelter

(BALTIMORE – October 11, 2018)  — The American Red Cross is preparing for a large relief effort across Florida, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas as Hurricane Michael continues its furious trek through the Gulf Coast. Part of that region is still recovering from Hurricane Florence. Michael is a dangerous storm predicted to be catastrophic and drop up to a foot of rain and a storm surge as high as 13 feet in some areas.

The American Red Cross is there along the Gulf Coast to provide refuge and support as Hurricane Michael comes ashore. The focus is on working with partners to provide safe shelter for evacuees.

The Red Cross isn’t a federal agency, but we are coordinating closely with our government partners and other nonprofits to respond.

Last night, approximately 4,000 people stayed in nearly 70 Red Cross and community evacuation centers across Florida, Georgia and Alabama. There are more than 500 trained disaster workers on their way to the region to join Red Cross volunteers already in place.

The American Red Cross Greater Chesapeake Region is working with state and local officials to monitor the storm’s path. The last remnants of Michael are expected to impact weather in this region through the weekend. Local Red Cross disaster worker teams are being assembled, trained and standing by. Relief supplies, feeding stations and other equipment – like our emergency response vehicles — are being re-stocked and prepared to head south as needed.

Millions of people are in the path of Hurricane Michael as the unprecedented storm hits the Gulf Coast today.

  • Michael is bringing 140 mph winds, up to a foot of rain and a storm surge as high as 13 feet to some areas of Florida, Georgia and Alabama. Officials are predicting prolonged power outages.
  • The storm is also forecast to drop heavy rain later this week in the Carolinas where people are still struggling with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
  • More than 375,000 people are under evacuation orders and many schools and colleges are closed along with airports and ports.

The American Red Cross is there along the Gulf Coast to provide refuge and support as a result of Hurricane Michael.

  • The Red Cross has mobilized trained volunteers, shelters, relief supplies, vehicles and other equipment in order to help tens of thousands of people in the affected areas.
  • Some evacuation centers may not have cots, food, running water or electricity as they are meant to safely house people for about 72 hours until weather conditions improve.
  • In time, and if needed, local officials may transition evacuation centers into emergency shelters after the storm passes. The Red Cross can support both pre-landfall and post-landfall shelters with trained workers, supplies and other aid.
  • The Red Cross is not a government agency and does not require people to show any kind of identification in order to enter a shelter.
  • The Red Cross is working with organizations that can support the temporary placement of household pets.

HOW YOU CAN HELP The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by Hurricane Michael by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word MICHAEL to 90999 to make a $10 donation.  Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.

PLEASE GIVE BLOOD Hurricane Michael has already forced the cancellation of more than a dozen blood drives, causing hundreds of units of blood to go uncollected in Alabama and Georgia. More cancellations are expected in the Southeast over the coming days. The Red Cross asks individuals unaffected by the storm to give blood. Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

About the American Red Cross:The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.