American Red Cross

Disaster Response Update

Email sent: Nov 18, 2013 6:23 pm

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American Red Cross  
Friend –

In the past week, we’ve received overwhelming support from the Red Cross community in response to the recent disaster in the Philippines and ongoing disasters around the U.S. We are so grateful.

Below is an update I wanted to share with you. It comes from our Disaster Services team and it outlines the latest news on the disasters the Red Cross is currently responding to.

Every 9 minutes, the Red Cross responds to a disaster… from families who have lost their home to a fire, to major catastrophic events. To help people affected by disasters down the street, across the country and around the world please consider making a donation to the American Red Cross today.

At times like these, you show the world what the Red Cross truly stands for – compassion. Thank you.


Gail McGovern President and CEO, American Red Cross


To: Gail McGovern
From: Disaster Services
Subject: Internal Red Cross Disaster Update (Major Events)

DAILY DISASTER UPDATE: Monday, November 18, 2013 at 6:00 AM ET

Disaster Update

1. Multi-State event: Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio

Numerous intense thunderstorms impacted the Middle Mississippi Valley, Lower Great Lakes and Ohio Valley, yesterday. High winds up to 85 mph, golf ball sized hail, and significant tornado activity occurred. The storms left more than 750,000 residents without power, hundreds of damaged homes, closed roads, downed trees and power lines, and major airport delays.

Red Cross chapters within each region have conducted call downs, deployed Team Members, dispatched Emergency Response Vehicles, opened shelters and are providing Mass Care to evacuees.

The Red Cross is working closely with state officials and FEMA to continue damage assessment and provide relief to affected families and individuals.

2. Alaska – Storms
A storm system caused varying degrees of damage to homes in the communities of Kotlik, Stebbins, Unalakleet and Bethel, Alaska. The Red Cross is in communication with its state emergency operations center and opened a shelter at National Guard Armory in Kenai with Red Cross assistance.

3. Florida – Hotel Fire; Sinkhole
A hotel fire in Port Orange displaced fifteen people and two children last Wednesday. Florida’s Coast to Coast Chapter’s disaster action team members provided hydration, snacks and blankets to the affected residents. The displaced residents were given accommodation in a nearby hotel.

A sinkhole opened up in Pinellas County last Thursday, damaged two homes, threatened others and prompted the evacuations of residents within the affected. The Tampa Bay Chapter deployed Disaster Action Team members, dispatched an Emergency Response Vehicle, provided Mass Care and initiated Client Casework.

4. Hawaii – Flood
Storms with heavy rainfall caused flash flooding in Hawaii and stranded travelers in Hauai County. The Hawaii Chapter deployed Team Members and opened a shelter for travelers within the affected area.

5. Philippines – Typhoon Haiyan
The Philippines, a nation of more than 7,000 islands, faces enormous devastation in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan that produced record strength winds along with high storm surges. The typhoon has affected up to 11.3 million people across the central islands of the country.

The global Red Cross network is responding to emergency needs in the Philippines with food, water, and relief supplies, and the American Red Cross is lending people, expertise and equipment to this massive effort.

The American Red Cross is among those societies helping support the response efforts of the Philippine Red Cross. Ten American Red Cross disaster relief specialists have deployed to the Philippines, including a shelter specialist and a five person team joining the global Red Cross Emergency Response Team to assist with distributing relief supplies to affected communities. This is in addition to four specialists from the American Red Cross who arrived in the Philippines shortly after landfall to work on damage assessment and telecommunications.

The American Red Cross team is working closely with our local counterparts in the Philippines who are leading the recovery efforts.

The American Red Cross is also helping to reconnect families separated by this typhoon and has activated its family tracing services. If people are looking for a missing family member in the Philippines, please remember that many phone lines are down. Please advise people who are unable to reach loved ones to contact their local chapter of the American Red Cross to initiate a family tracing care.

The American Red Cross remains in close contact with the Philippine Red Cross to provide more help and assistance in the days ahead.
Volunteers and staff working with food items at Philippine Red Cross HQ.
Volunteers and staff working with food items at Philippine Red Cross HQ.
Photo: Jarkko Mikkonen/Finnish Red Cross

6. Texas – Flooding/Tornado; Pipeline Explosion
Flooding and tornado activity closed roads, damaged homes, left thousands of residents without power and prompted evacuations in the Central and Southwest portions of the state. To date, the Red Cross has served more than 100,500 meals and snacks, provided more than 460 overnight shelter stays, handed out more than 14,150 relief items, and made more than 2,660 health and mental health contacts. A pipeline explosion prompted the evacuation of hundreds of residents in Ellis County. The Dallas Area Chapter deployed Disaster Action Team members, placed other members on stand-by, opened a shelter that housed more than 30 overnight stays, secured Mass Care and placed a liaison at the command center.

More information and news on disaster response across the U.S. in around the world can be found at
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