American Red Cross chapters throughout Kentucky are responding across multiple states as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast. Over the weekend, twelve Red Cross volunteers, seven from the Louisville Area Chapter, deployed to New York, Virginia and West Virginia to assist with sheltering, mass care, feeding and mobilize Emergency Response Vehicles.

Keith Alvey, the regional CEO for the Louisville area Red Cross will be operations director for New York City. He will be coordinating the entire operation for New York City. Alvey has extensive experience in disaster cleanup and recovery.

Almost 100 Red Cross emergency vehicles have mobilized to distribute meals and relief supplies after the storm passes. Thousands of ready-to-eat meals and relief supplies such as cots and blankets have also been sent into the region.

How to Help

Donations

Donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone's local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. 

Give Blood

The storm has already caused the cancellation of Red Cross blood drives in the northeast region, and more cancellations are expected. This has resulted in the loss of several hundred units of blood and platelets so far. The Red Cross has shipped blood products to hospitals in the affected area in advance of the storm as patients will still need blood and platelets despite the weather. If anyone is eligible, especially in places not affected by the storm, they are asked to please schedule a blood donation now.

Red Cross Apps

People should download the free Red Cross Hurricane and First Aid apps for mobile devices to have emergency information at their fingertips. The Hurricane App keeps people up to date on the situation with weather alerts, locations of Red Cross shelters, and features a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm. The "I'm Safe" button lets someone use social media sites to tell family and friends they are okay. The First Aid app includes expert advice for everyday emergencies.

For more information, please visit www.redcross.org  or join their blog at http://blog.redcross.org