Release: National 9.16.08

September 16, 2008

CMO Council Rallies Corporate Support for American Red Cross Hurricane Relief

Red Cross Assists Thousands in Wake of Hurricane Ike

WASHINGTON, Tuesday, September 16, 2008 – The American Red Cross today announced a new alliance with the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council that leverages the combined reach, expertise and influence of corporate marketers worldwide to encourage donations to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. The 3,500 CMO Council members manage some $100 billion in annual marketing expenditures worldwide and communicate with millions of potential donors daily through online and offline media channels.

The announcement comes as the Red Cross continues to provide services to thousands affected by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike and days after the launch of a national campaign to raise an initial $100 million to replenish the fund depleted by an active year of disasters. The Disaster Relief Fund supports the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year and enables the Red Cross to provide disaster victims with shelter, food, counseling and other assistance.

The CMO Council will issue a special bulletin to its members, affiliates and partners and disseminate traditional and social media creative and content that companies can use in corporate intranets, newsletters, public service ads, blogs, digital signage systems, email and text messaging campaigns, as well as community outreach.

“The American Red Cross touches people in every market and its humanitarian mission has relevance for all of our members committed to social responsibility programs,” said Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director. He added, “Helping the American Red Cross reach these markets is one way our members can give back and further their customer affinity programs with cause-related communications activities.”

There are many ways CMO Council employees, customers, distribution partners and trade audiences can support the Red Cross. Donations can be made by calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visiting http://www.redcross.org. Another way people can help is through the Text 2HELPTM Initiative, a cooperative partnership between the Red Cross and the Wireless Foundation. Users simply text message the keyword “GIVE” to “2HELP” (24357) and a $5 donation will be made to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Contributions will appear on monthly bills or be debited from a prepaid account balance. All applicable text rates apply.

“We are thrilled to tap into the collective talent, leadership and resources that the CMO Council brings to the table,” said Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross. “This alignment will go a long way toward helping victims of disaster meet their critical needs.”

The Red Cross responded to a record number of tornadoes this year, the worst flooding in the Midwest in 15 years, an early wildfire season and an active hurricane season-disasters that steadily depleted the Disaster Relief Fund. Hurricane Gustav, which made landfall on September 1, is estimated to cost the Red Cross $40-$70 million and the organization has only raised a fraction of what is needed to support affected families. Early cost estimates indicate the Red Cross response to Hurricane Ike may exceed the cost of Hurricane Gustav.


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Press Release: Greater Houston Area Chapter 9.14.08

September 15, 2008

GREATER HOUSTON AREA RED CROSS OPENS SHELTERS FOR RESIDENTS WHOSE HOMES WERE DAMAGED BY HURRICANE IKE

The following shelters are now open:

Sugar Land First United Methodist Church
431 Eldridge
Sugarland, Texas 77481
First Assembly Church
601 S. Market St.
Brazoria, Texas 77422

Lindale Assembly of God
504 Caplin
Houston, Texas 77022

Richey Street Baptist Church
1010 S. Richey
Pasadena, Texas 77506
Family Faith Church
2407 Sam Houston Ave.
Huntsville, Texas 77320

Johnson Coliseum
Sam Houston State University
1964 Bobby K. Marks
Huntsville, Texas 77320

Huntsville High School
650 FM 2821 E.
Huntsville, Texas 77320

For current Shelter List information go to www.houstonredcross.org and 1-800 RED CROSS.

People coming to Red Cross shelters should bring: Pillows and bedding; diapers and formula for your children; prescription medicines; toiletries; food to meet any special dietary needs they may have. These current shelters can not accommodate pets.

To help people reconnect after a disaster, we encourage evacuees to register with the Red Cross website Safe and Well, www.safeandwell.org. Evacuees’ friends and family can check the website and know they are safe.

Earlier today forty-eight Emergency Response Vehicles, from Red Cross Chapters nationwide, came to Houston to assist with delivering food and water to shelters and later on, to neighborhoods and distribution points. Mobile Feeding Kitchens will be set up within the next day or two in affected communities.

Red Cross damage assessment teams today drove through five affected communities to determine the extent of the storm damage. They are surveying damage in: City of Galveston, League City, Texas City, Deer Park and La Porte. Knowing how many homes are extensively damaged or destroyed helps the Red Cross estimate how much shelter space and food is needed.


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Release: Polk County Chapter 09.15.08

September 15, 2008

Polk Red Cross sends total of seven volunteers to Texas

Polk County Chapter thanks local volunteers for deploying, or staying behind to assist locally if needed.

Monday, Sept. 15, 2008 – Another three local Red Cross volunteers will leave out of Orlando today to help the relief effort in Texas after Hurricane Ike.

Over this past weekend, the American Red Cross Polk County Chapter has been busy pulling volunteers to send as part of a massive deployment of volunteers from all over America to join more than 2,000 volunteers already stationed in Texas providing sheltering and mobile feeding in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Ike.

The three local volunteers leaving today include Linda Haskins, Daphne Gray, and Shirley Bullock. Already in Texas are Anan Smith, Dan Sebright, and husband and wife Russell and Bobbi Miller, all of whom left either on Thursday before the storm arrived, on Sunday, or early Monday morning.

Local chapter volunteers gave today’s deploying volunteers a personal thank you at the airport. Volunteers deploying to Texas will sacrifice the comfort of their homes to deploy to an area that is experiencing numerous hardships and where living conditions are less than favorable.

“The Polk County Chapter is proud to endorse their deployment to assist the residents of Texas in their time of need,” said Linda Scialo, Programs and Services Director for the Polk County Chapter.

“For volunteers who are unable to deploy, a special thank you goes out to you for remaining behind with me to assist in Polk County, if necessary,  allowing others to deploy,” Scialo said. “You are all valuable to the Polk County Chapter. Keep up the good work.”

The Red Cross estimates that the cost for Hurricane Gustav will range from $40-70 million. The cost for Hurricane Ike could easily exceed that cost. A national fundraising campaign is underway to raise an initial $100 million to help victims of recent disasters, especially since the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund is depleted from a record number of tornadoes this year, the worst flooding in the Midwest in 15 years, an early wildfire season and an active hurricane season that is not over yet.

The Disaster Relief Fund gives people the chance to help anywhere in the nation. 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.

For more information about the American Red Cross response to Hurricane Ike, visit the online newsroom at https://hurricaneike.wordpress.com. For information on how to prepare for a tropical storm or hurricane, please visit www.redcross.org, or en Español – www.cruzrojaamericana.org. To help the Red Cross respond to this and other major disasters, donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by calling 1-800-REDCROSS or visiting www.redcross.org.


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Release: National 9.14.08

September 14, 2008

RED CROSS URGES SAFETY IN WAKE OF HURRICANE IKE

Sheltering and relief efforts underway in affected areas

WASHINGTON, September 14, 2008 – One day after Hurricane Ike crashed into the Texas coast as a Category 2 hurricane, the American Red Cross is providing shelter, food and emotional support to the tens of thousands of residents affected by the powerful storm. Although it has weakened in strength, the storm is still delivering tropical storm rain and high winds throughout Arkansas as it heads toward the Midwest.

With more than 150 shelters opened across the affected areas, in coordination with their partners, the Red Cross has helped nearly 20,000 residents find a safe place to wait out the storm but also the subsequent flooding that is occurring.

Many areas are open only to emergency responders, but once officials determine it is safe to enter storm ravaged areas, the Red Cross will work with partners to establish more than 25 kitchens that are capable of producing up to 500,000 meals per day. In those areas where residents are allowed to return home, safety is a primary concern. The American Red Cross encourages residents to follow all public safety and law enforcement directives.

Tips for post-hurricane safety:

  • Listen to the authorities – A battery-operated radio will help you stay on top of the local situation. Broadcasts will carry important news from public officials and utilities.
  • Take basic supplies – You are likely to need a flashlight (no candles!), trash bags, gloves and cleaning supplies. Don’t expect to find stores stocked with these essentials, so bring them with you. You may need cash for unexpected expenses, so be prepared.
  • Perimeter check – Check the home by walking around outside before entering. Look for loose power lines or gas leaks from the outside first and report them. If there are cracks around the foundation, contact a home construction professional to inspect the home.
  • As you enter a home, check for sagging ceilings, weak floors and other structural damage.
  • Air out – Open windows and doors to air out a home for at least 30 minutes before entering. Mold, which grows quickly after flooding, often smells musty or has a stench. If inhaled, mold can cause an asthma attack, stuffy nose, irritated eyes, wheezing or skin irritation. Flood waters can also carry contaminants which decay and release odors.
  • Check for gas – Use a flashlight. Do not use an open flame, candles or lighter. If you smell gas, leave the building immediately and call the fire department or utility company.
  • Electricity – Turn off the power or circuit breaker with a dry stick to prevent shock while inspecting for damage. Wait until appliances are thoroughly dry before turning them on.
  • Sewer and water – If sewers have overflowed or water supplies have been contaminated, do not run water faucets or flush toilets. Assume that anything touched by floodwaters is contaminated. Wear gloves and wash hands or use antiseptic gel frequently. Disinfect everything floodwaters have touched.

For those directly affected by the disaster, registering on the Safe and Well Web site allows them to let loved ones to know that they are safe. The site is accessible at http://www.redcross.org. If internet access is not possible, they can call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) to register and follow the prompts for disaster information.

As the Red Cross continues helping individuals and families battered by the 2008 storms and hurricanes, a national fundraising campaign has been launched to raise an initial $100 million to fill a Disaster Relief Fund depleted after an active year of disasters. The Disaster Relief Fund allows the Red Cross to provide emergency assistance to help victims of disasters meet their immediate needs for food, shelter, counseling and other critical services.

You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the Hurricanes of 2008, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. You can log-on to http://www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) to make a donation. You can also use your cell phone to donate $5 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by text messaging the keyword “GIVE” to “2HELP” (24357). You can send multiple donations depending on your carrier. Contributions will appear on monthly bills or be debited from a prepaid account balance. All applicable text rates apply.


Press Release: National 9.12.08

September 14, 2008

AMERICAN RED CROSS SENDS RELIEF TO CUBA

Nearly 400,000 people still in shelters

[WASHINGTON, DC, Friday, September 12, 2008] -The American Red Cross is committing $1 million from its International Response Fund to support the disaster relief efforts of the Red Cross in Cuba in response to the devastation caused by two consecutive hurricanes. Nearly 400,000 people remain in shelters and the agricultural sector is severely damaged.

“The situation in the Caribbean, particularly in Cuba and Haiti, is desperate and our hearts go out to the people impacted by the recent calamities,” said David Meltzer, senior vice president of international services at the American Red Cross.

When Hurricane Gustav hit the island of Cuba on August 31 as a category 4 storm, it was considered the worst storm to hit the island in 50 years. Just as recovery efforts for the first hurricane were underway, Hurricane Ike hit eastern Cuba as a category 3 hurricane and slowly moved west over two long days, affecting 100 percent of the island and exacerbating the damage from Gustav.

“The infrastructure has been hit hard,” says Josè Reyes, disaster management delegate in Cuba for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies since. “In addition, about one-third of the population was evacuated during the storms and 30,000 houses were destroyed and 320,000 houses were affected.”

A cargo plan carrying emergency kits for 3,300 families already arrived in Cuba from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ regional disaster unit in Panama. More supplies will be transported as needed.

Currently the Cuban Red Cross is working in shelters, distributing food and delivering first aid. The American Red Cross contribution will support the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in their distribution of relief supplies, shelter kits and supplies, water filters and materials to repair damaged homes.


Press Release: Red Cross There as Hurricane Ike Roars Ashore 9.13.08

September 13, 2008

MORE THAN 20,000 IN SHELTERS IN FOUR STATES

WASHINGTON, September 13, 2008 – American Red Cross workers are providing shelter, food and emotional support for tens of thousands affected by Hurricane Ike. From Lake Charles, Louisiana, to Houston, Texas, the Red Cross is there, on the ground, providing relief.

SERVICE DELIVERY

Last night, as Hurricane Ike came ashore, the Red Cross sheltered more than 20,000 people across four states, providing cots, blankets, toiletries and emotional support.

The Red Cross has over 1 million shelf stable meals available for distribution post landfall. There are 25-30 kitchens ready to be put in place, as soon as it is determined safe, with the capability to serve up to 500,000 meals per day. These kitchens will be located in areas close to the impacted areas where fixed and mobile feeding operations will start. Over 120 mobile feed trucks are poised to assist in the delivery of food, water and bulk supplies to people who are returning to their homes.

SHELTERING the RESCUED

Although search and rescue is a mission for Federal, state and local governments, the Red Cross is ready to accept those rescued into our evacuation shelters. The Red Cross has moved additional units of blood into Northern Texas to address possible medical needs resulting from the catastrophic storm.

REGISTER FOR SAFE AND WELL

Evacuees are encouraged to register on Safe and Well (disastersafe.redcross.org), the Web site that allows people directly affected by a disaster to let their loved ones know that they are okay. Safe and Well is also accessible through the American Red Cross public Web site, www.redcross.org. For those without internet access, you can register yourself and your family by calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). Follow the prompts for disaster information.

DONATION INFORMATION

As the Red Cross continues helping individuals and families battered by the 2008 storms and hurricanes, a national fundraising campaign has been launched to raise an initial $100 million to fill a Disaster Relief Fund depleted after an active year of disasters. The Disaster Relief Fund allows the Red Cross to provide emergency assistance to help victims of disasters meet their immediate needs for food, shelter, counseling and other critical services.

You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the Hurricanes of 2008, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. You can log-on to http://www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) to make a donation. You can also use your cell phone to donate $5 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by text messaging the keyword “GIVE” to “2HELP” (24357). You can send multiple donations depending on your carrier. Contributions will appear on monthly bills or be debited from a prepaid account balance. All applicable text rates apply.


Release: San Antonio Area Chapter 9.11.08

September 12, 2008

Red Cross Urges Preparedness as Hurricane Ike is Hours Away from the Gulf Coast

San Antonio, TX, September 11, 2008 – The urgent message today from the American Red Cross, San Antonio Area Chapter is prepare, prepare, prepare for those evacuating from the Texas Gulf Coast and for those here in South Central Texas. Resources are being mobilized ahead of Ike’s landfall and the Red Cross is continuing our preparations for a major response event as Hurricane Ike is charging toward the Texas Gulf Coast.

Ike is unpredictable and could cover a wide geography. The Red Cross is prepared: supplies such as cots, blankets, personal hygiene items and clean up kits are being restocked post Hurricane Gustav and Red Cross staff from across the country have started moving into the area.

The Red Cross is asking people across South Central Texas to do the following:

PREPARE

As stated above, today is about preparing whether evacuating and staying in a shelter or sheltering in place locally. The Red Cross urges people living in the evacuation zone to heed evacuation warnings. We are urging people to not let personal economic hardship prevent them from getting out of harm’s way. Listen to your local community for guidance on transportation to shelters and out of the storm zone. We urge evacuees to stay in shelters instead of hotels in order to avoid financial hardship during this emergency situation. Meals will be available at all shelter locations.

Those evacuating to San Antonio must report to Port of San Antonio where they will register and receive a shelter assignment. Special needs assistance is available and health needs will be met. Most importantly if you are evacuating please register on the Red Cross Safe & Well website were loved ones will be able to verify you are safe and being taken care of. This website is: https://disastersafe.redcross.org/ To access Safe and Well by telephone, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)

Communities in San Antonio and South Central Texas must also be prepared for Hurricane Ike and to shelter in place. Now is the time to follow the Red Cross 3 Actions: Get a kit, make a plan, and be informed. Make sure you have enough supplies in your families’ emergency kit for at least 3 days. Supplies should include: food, water, medications, extra clothing, flashlight, batteries, first aid kit, cash, important personal documents and more. For a complete list of items to include in your kit, visit our website at http://www.saredcross.org. Have an emergency plan and make sure all members of your family know what to do in the event of a disaster. Be informed and listen to local TV and radio announcements about the weather and storm. Be aware of local hazards in your community such as flood zones.

VOLUNTEER

To support the Hurricane Ike relief efforts, the Red Cross is seeking as many as 500 volunteers to work in shelters, warehouses, and a call center as well as provide administrative support. To aid in the recruiting effort the San Antonio Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (SAVOAD) has activated the Volunteer Operations Center (VOC) at the Freeman Coliseum, Frontier Room, located at 3201 E. Houston St.

Members of the community wishing to help with the response to Hurricane Ike are asked to report in person to the Coliseum to register for volunteer opportunities. The VOC is best accessed via the West Entrance off E Houston St by the railroad tracks. Hours of operation will be 7:00 Am to 7:00 PM until further notice. The process includes completion of an application, background check and orientation. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and bring a photo ID. Job assignments will be made once the registration process is complete.

DONATE

It’s only the middle of hurricane season and people in the paths of Ike and storms yet to come need your help. By supporting the Red Cross, you help us help others. Please support the relief efforts of the American Red Cross by making a financial gift to the Disaster Relief Fund. Donors can go online to http://www.saredcross.org or call 1.800.REDCROSS to make a donation. Cell phone users may also donate a $5 gift by text messaging the keyword “GIVE” to “2HELP” (24357).

Donations help the Red Cross operate our shelters and provide meals for evacuees, victims and workers. It buys things like food, cots, blankets, toiletries, and clean-up supplies. Donations also ensure we can move our volunteers to effected regions and provide the vital services needed.


For more information please contact the Red Cross at (210) 582-1997 or visit www.saredcross.org