Thank You

October 27, 2008

This is the final post for the Hurricane Ike Online Newsroom. While this is the last post, the recovery and relief efforts will continue. We would like to thank the hard working Red Crossers in the field who made this disaster operation, as well as this website, successful. To all those in the affected areas, we wish you a swift and complete recovery.

National media contacts: Please contact (202) 303-5551 for additional public affairs information.

Local media contacts: Please contact your local chapter for additional public affairs information.

For Red Cross assistance or for any other inquiries, please contact 1-800-RED-CROSS.


Release: Houston, Texas 10.22.08

October 22, 2008

SHELTER IN BAYTOWN TO CLOSE

HOUSTON, TX, October 22, 2008 – As residents displaced by Hurricane Ike find alternative or more permanent housing, the shelter at the Lee High School Annex managed by the American Red Cross plans to close on Friday, October 24, 2008 at 5 p.m.

Suzy Davidson, director of the American Red Cross Hurricane Ike relief operation that includes the Baytown shelter, said: “Nothing has changed in our commitment to meeting personal and family needs. Post Hurricane Ike, we remain focused on helping displaced families plan their recovery.” Red Cross Advocacy and Referral workers have and continue to make resources available to disaster victims through the many agencies partnering with us. “We are grateful to our Red Cross volunteers and those from our partner agencies who have been instrumental in providing food, shelter, comfort and assistance,” Davidson said.

At the peak of the disaster, Baytown had shelters at Wooster Baptist Church with 137 residents and Memorial Baptist Church with 87 residents. Last week, Lee High School had 42 shelter residents. Earlier this month, the City of Baytown awarded the American Red Cross and the Southern Baptist Convention with keys to the City in appreciation for their assistance to residents displaced by Hurricane Ike.


Media Contact:

  • C.A. Burke (571) 918-5364

Release: Carlson Hotels 10.3.08

October 20, 2008

Carlson Hotels Worldwide Partners with the American Red Cross in Texas to Provide Relief for Children Affected by Hurricane Ike
More Than 4,300 Activity Bags Donated to Area Youth in Houston and San Antonio

Read the press release…


Release: Houston, Texas 10.19.08

October 20, 2008

American Red Cross Collaborates With Community Agencies to Help Disaster Victims on Road to Hurricane Recovery

HOUSTON, TEXAS, October 19, 2008 – With almost a month since Hurricane Ike demolished communities along the Texas Gulf Coast, American Red Cross advocacy and referral teams are working with community agencies to help residents displaced by the disaster get back on their feet and move forward in their recovery. “We are actively assisting families as they look to find more permanent housing,” said Suzy Davidson, director of American Red Cross relief operations in Texas. The healing process for a family depends on accessing the right resources for additional assistance in the community so that the needs of each family member are met. “We are doing our best to ensure those impacted by Hurricane Ike see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Davidson.

In Texas, more than 182,000 residents sought temporary shelter in as many as 280 shelters where American Red Cross volunteers served over 8 million meals and snacks. The American Red Cross has established partnerships with community agencies and local churches in providing services to survivors of Hurricane Ike.

As the American Red Cross continues to meet the needs of disaster victims, the cost of providing disaster relief has rapidly outpaced contributions to the organization. “The Red Cross is a partner agency in your community assisting those in need during times of emergency, and we rely on the generosity of our donors to enable the Red Cross to provide help whenever and wherever disasters occur,” said Davidson.


Media Contact:

  • C.A. Burke (571) 918-5364

Release: Chisholm Trail Chapter 10.14.08

October 15, 2008

Benefit Concert at Billy Bob’s Texas Raises $14,000 for Red Cross Disaster Relief

FORT WORTH, TX (October 14, 2008) – Thousands of fans and supporters of the American Red Cross turned out on Wednesday, October 8, at Billy Bob’s Texas to support the Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund and had some fun in the process. A celebration of KSCS The Big 96.3 Dorsey Gang’s 5,000th show grew into a benefit concert with performances by Lee Ann Womack, Lee Brice, Randy Hauser and Jamey Johnson, and featured Pat Green. Between box office ticket sales, auction items, merchandise sales and cash collections, $14,000 was raised for disaster relief.

Pat Green is a Fort Worth resident and member of the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet. The three-time Grammy nominee was honored by the Red Cross in 2007 with the Crystal Cross award for his service to the organization. He understands the importance of giving back.

“Most of us have family or friends who were impacted by Hurricane Ike, so when the American Red Cross and KSCS asked if I could help, I was happy to jump in and do whatever I could,” Green said.

The American Red Cross has launched a $100 million fundraising campaign nationwide to cover the costs of massive relief efforts in response to a record-setting year of large-scale disasters. With half of hurricane season still left, the need for financial donations is great. The DFW Metroplex served as a temporary home to residents displaced by Hurricane Ike, with thousands of people seeking refuge in area Red Cross shelters.

“When people need help during disasters, they turn to the Red Cross. The Red Cross can always turn to Pat Green for his support of our work. He’s been a great friend to our organization and to those disaster victims who urgently need food, shelter and emotional support. I want to thank Pat for his generous support of the Disaster Relief Fund,” American National Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern said.


Additional Information:


Release: Fort Worth 10.8.08

October 9, 2008

American Red Cross Continues to Feed Victims of Hurricane Ike

More than 43,000 meals served in Texas on Tuesday, October 7, 2008

FORT WORTH, TEXAS   October 8, 2008 РResidents of coastal Texas continue to face daunting challenges as they try to rebuild the homes and lives ruined by Hurricane Ike. Thousands of homes deemed uninhabitable will be demolished and residents who will be able to repair and restore their homes must have safety certifications before their houses can be reconnected to electricity. These conditions continue to add to the critical demand for feeding. FACTS AT A GLANCE FOR TEXAS Wednesday, October 08, 2008

  • Last night more than 1,000 people sought comfort in 6 Red Cross shelters.
  • More than 144,000 meals and snacks were served in the last twenty four hours.
  • Food was served at 16 fixed sites, and 65 vehicles provided mobile feeding services.

To ensure the Red Cross continues its help for disaster victims, we need your help. We are calling on everyone to support the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which allows the Red Cross to provide help whenever and wherever disasters occur. The Disaster Relief Fund allows the Red Cross to assist those in need anywhere in the nation, and ensures that relief comes quickly.

Volunteer and Emergency Response Vehicles


Media Contact:

  • Dianna Van Horn: (202) 716-9397

Release: Fort Worth, Texas 10.3.08

October 4, 2008

Red Cross Still Providing Food, Shelter, and Comfort

More than 2,500 Red Cross workers are still on the ground in Texas


FORT WORTH, TEXAS – October 3, 2008 –
The Hurricanes of 2008 have displaced thousands of people and destroyed homes across hundreds of miles in Texas. In addition to the hurricanes that swept through Texas, a record number of disasters beginning early in the year have kept the American Red Cross on the scene of tornadoes, floods, and wildfires.

The Red Cross continues to focus on providing the relief the American people depend on us to provide: a safe place to stay, access to food and water, health and mental health services, and the comfort that victims of disaster need.

FACTS AT A GLANCE FOR TEXAS – Since September 8

  • More than 168,000 overnight stays in 261 shelters
  • The Red Cross has served over six million meals and snacks to those who have been affected by Hurricane Ike
  • More than 5,000 Red Cross workers have provided assistance to the relief operation
  • More than 190 Emergency Response Vehicles continue to support feeding and distribution operations
  • 70,523 clean-up kits and 37,028 comfort kits have been distributed
  • The Red Cross has had more than 19,000 health services contacts and 15,000 mental health contacts

To ensure the Red Cross continues its help for disaster victims, we need your help. We are calling on everyone to support the American Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund, which allows the Red Cross to provide help whenever and wherever disasters occur. The Disaster Relief Fund allows the Red Cross to assist those in need anywhere in the nation, and ensures that relief comes quickly.


Media Contact for this Release:

  • Diana Van Horn – (202) 716-9397

Release: Southeast Louisiana Chapter 10.2.08

October 2, 2008

Update on Red Cross Response to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike

NEW ORLEANS, October 2, 2008 – The American Red Cross continues to provide emergency aid to displaced residents of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

Local businesses have returned to the areas and with no more power outages, residents are able to return home and begin their long term recovery plans. Two shelters remain open in Schriever and Houma with a population of 135 in the last 24 hours. The shelter at LaRose Civic Center will close today at noon.

Red Cross workers have provided over 8,500 meals & snacks to residents within in the past 24 hours, and over 1.6 million meals & snacks to residents to date. The last mobile feeding that residents will be served is dinner tonight but we will continue to serve meals to shelter residents. In addition, we have distributed more than 9,000 comfort kits (containing hygiene products), 5,000 clean-up kits to the most affected areas. We also have provided over 2,000 bulk items in the past 24 hours and more than 76,000 to date to the residents impacted by the storms.

“Thanks to persons in the community willing to help others in need, we were able to respond quickly. We applaud our volunteers for such a swift response,” says Kay Wilkins, CEO of the American Red Cross- Southeast Louisiana Chapter.

To volunteer, donate, or receive current information about these disasters, call 1-800-229-8191. All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people.

For more information on how to Be Red Cross Ready, contact the local Red Cross at (504) 620-3105 or via the website at www.arcno.org.


Additional Resources for this Release:


Release: National 10.1.08

October 1, 2008

As Gulf Coast Marks Hurricane Anniversary, Red Cross Keeps Relief Operation Going

Campaign for Disaster Relief being fueled by gifts from thousands of generous donors

WASHINGTON, Wednesday, October 1, 2008 – A mere month has passed since Hurricane Gustav made landfall in the United States. For Louisiana and Texas residents, the cleanup has started, but time hasn’t lessened the need for food, shelter and emotional support.

Although Ike’s aftermath has largely been overshadowed by economic and political news, and many have written off Gustav as a “near miss,” both of these storms were a direct hit for the people of the Gulf Coast. The Red Cross has been there every step of the way, providing a staggering number of services to people whose homes were damaged or destroyed; to thousands who stayed in shelters; and to countless numbers that received hot meals when they were left without power.

Shelters remain open in Louisiana and Texas in what will be a lengthy relief operation on the Gulf Coast. To date:

  • More than 12 million meals and snacks have been served to those in need.
  • There have been more than 384,000 overnight stays in 916 shelters across 17 states.
  • Nearly 20,000 Red Cross workers have been on the ground to prepare for landfall and help in the aftermath.
  • The Red Cross has distributed more than 100,000 comfort kits, which contain soap, toothpaste and other toiletries.
  • The Red Cross has given out more than 100,000 clean-up kits, which include essentials such as disinfectant, mops and buckets.
  • More than 80,000 people affected by Gustav and Ike have also turned to the Red Cross for mental and physical health services.

In order to offset this year’s record number of disasters-including widespread tornadoes, flooding in the Midwest, an early wildfire season and, most recently, Dolly, Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike-the Red Cross has launched the Campaign for Disaster Relief. To date, generous Americans have supported the campaign with more than $30 million donated or pledged toward the ultimate goal of $100 million.


Release: National 9.26.08

September 26, 2008

Massive Relief Effort Continues Two Weeks after Ike Landfall

WASHINGTON, Friday, September 26, 2008 – Even as the country gets a respite from what has been a very active hurricane season, the American Red Cross is now in the middle of a large and lengthy relief operation on the Gulf Coast. As much as $70 million could be spent on the relief operation for Hurricane Gustav alone, and costs for Ike could easily surpass that amount.

Storms that dissipated months or just weeks ago, most notably Gustav and Ike, have left lasting effects. Although Gustav did not hit New Orleans directly, as was originally feared, it remained a strong storm that did not spare the region. Ike caused even further upheaval in Texas. The focus of the Red Cross is now on providing food, shelter and counseling, and distributing needed items to those affected.

The relief operations for Gustav and Ike have been-and continue to be-a huge undertaking. The Red Cross is providing numerous critical services for those affected by the hurricanes:

  • More than eight million meals and snacks have been served to those in need.
  • There have been more than 370,000 overnight stays in 916 shelters.
  • More than 19,000 Red Cross workers have been on the ground to prepare for landfall and then help in the aftermath.
  • The Red Cross has distributed nearly 100,000 comfort kits, which contain soap, toothpaste and other toiletries.
  • The Red Cross has given out more than 90,000 clean-up kits, which include essentials such as disinfectant, mops and buckets.
  • More than 75,000 people affected by Gustav and Ike have also turned to the Red Cross for mental and physical health services.

In a record year for disasters, the Red Cross continues to provide services to victims even as its Disaster Relief Fund remains largely depleted.