BALTIMORE, Md. (WAVY) — The American Red Cross has expanded its massive sheltering effort to span five states in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
More than 13,400 people in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Virginia woke up Sunday morning in 248 Red Cross and community evacuation shelters:
- In North Carolina, there are 80 evacuation shelters holding over 4,000 people.
- In South Carolina, 61 evacuation shelters have been set up with over 4,500 people.
- In Georgia, 34 evacuation shelters have 4,500 people in them.
- In Florida, 72 evacuation shelters are hosting more than 340 people.
- In Virginia, one evacuation shelter has been set up with 25 people staying there.
The Red Cross’ Greater Chesapeake Region has deployed three volunteer-manned emergency response vehicles and 22 local volunteers have deployed to the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia and Florida to help.
A total of more than 2,700 Red Cross disaster workers are supporting relief efforts. The organization has also mobilized 133 response vehicles, 3 kitchens and 97 trailers filled with water, ready-to-eat meals, shelter and kitchen supplies, cleaning supplies and comfort kits, insect repellant, gloves, masks, shovels, rakes, coolers and more.
The Red Cross needs volunteers to help the community recover. The organization is opening a Volunteer Intake Center at 10 a.m. Monday at the Kiwanis Recreation Center and Honeycutt Park, 352 Devers Street, in Fayetteville. Those interested in helping are asked to fill out an application at redcross.org/volunteer before arriving to the center.
You can also make a donation to help those affected by Matthew by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word MATTHEW to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Red Cross officials expect Matthew to affect the nation’s blood supply. About 40 Red Cross blood drives have been canceled in George, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia because of weather. That means more than 1,500 blood and platelet donations went uncollected. More cancellations are expected.
The need for platelets is especially critical. Platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, must be transfused within five days of donation and, therefore, are always in demand.
The Red Cross needs eligible people to give blood or platelets now, especially in areas affected by Matthew. Even before the storm, there was an urgent need for blood donations of all types, especially type O. You can make a donation appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.