How to help the Red Cross reach victims of Sandy - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

How to help the Red Cross reach victims of Sandy

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The American Red Cross says they are in a massive relief effort to help victims of Superstorm Sandy. Officials say there is plenty people can do to help those who are now homeless or still in the dark.

The American Red Cross is helping people across 13 states with safe shelter, food and comfort as part of a huge disaster response to Sandy. Officials with the Red Cross say more than 9,000 people spent Tuesday night in 171 Red Cross shelters in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, Indiana, and Ohio.

The Red Cross has activated nearly 200 response vehicles that are beginning to circulate through some communities distributing meals, water and snacks. They've also already mobilized more than 2,300 disaster workers from all over the country who have served more than 100,800 meals and snacks so far. The Red Cross says they are working hard to get help to where it is needed, but access into many areas is still difficult. They say they are going to expand their reach into more communities as soon as officials say it is safe. As roads and airports re-open and people are able to travel again, more disaster workers, vehicles and relief supplies will be arriving to help victims of Sandy.

The response to Sandy is very large and very costly and the Red Cross says they need your help. To donate visit www.redcross.org , call 1-800-RED CROSS , or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. The Red Cross says your gift enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected.

The Red Cross also says another problem is nearly 300 Red Cross blood drives have already been canceled due to the storm, and more cancellations are expected. This represents a loss of as many as 10,500 blood and platelet products. They are asking people who are eligible to give blood especially in places not affected by the storm, to schedule a blood donation now.

To schedule a donation time or get more information about giving blood, people can visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS. To give blood, someone must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health. Donors should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID with them.

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