UPDATED Nov. 1, 2012; 6:30 p.m. EST
Superstorm Sandy has claimed 33 lives and left millions of people from Maine to the Carolinas without electricity, the Associated Press reports.
The full impact of the storm is still unknown, but the mounting devastation is visible across the East Coast. A huge fire destroyed as many as 100 homes in Queens on Tuesday and New York University hospital evacuated 200 patients after a backup generator failed. First responders are working tirelessly in their search and rescue operations and aid organizations are helping those in need of food, shelter and security.
“I just tell them that we’re all in this together and we’re going to get through it,” said American Red Cross volunteer Sue Marticek who is managing a shelter with more than 340 residents in New Jersey. “The Red Cross name and presence goes far.”
See how aid organizations are stepping in, and what you can do to help. This is a developing list.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
The Red Cross has started a preventative campaign in Haiti, using SMS and sound trucks to provide early warning messages. Emergency response teams are also in place, ready to hand out relief supplies for up to 11,000 families. In the United States, the Red Cross has released an app that allows users to track the impending storm, receive weather alerts, directions to the nearest shelter, tools like a flashlight, strobe light, alarm, and even a one-touch “I’m Safe” button that uses social media to let family and friends know you’re safe. Learn more here.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army has set up feeding operations in shelters along the East Coast and has stocked dozens of mobile feeding units, which the organization will deploy to heavily impacted areas once it is safe to do. In addition to providing thousands of meals, the nonprofit is also prepared to provide clean-up kits, hygiene kits, shower units, first-aid supplies and communications support. Donors may contribute $10 by text messaging the word STORM to 80888, and confirming the donation with the word, “Yes.” Learn more here.
Mayor Bloomberg has activated the hurricane shelter system in New York and will be in need of trained volunteers. Help volunteers at evacuation shelters and after the storm. To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
World Vision, a Christian humanitarian relief organization, is bringing necessary supplies, including food kits, hygiene kits, blankets and tarps, to those in need in New York City. Learn more here.
New York Blood Center
The New York Blood Center is calling for donations to prevent any shortages after the storm hits. The organization is working with local hospitals to make sure it have adequate supply. The center needs at least 2,000 donations a day to maintain the center’s blood inventory. Learn more here.
AmeriCares is preparing to deliver relief supplies like medicine, first aid kits, cleaning products and flashlights to susceptible communities along the East Coast. It has reached out to 100 health clinics, food banks and other agencies and also have aid workers ready to help. In Haiti, the organization has already provided 300 family emergency kits and are prepared to deliver water, sanitation treatment, and medical supplies if need be. Learn more here.
As Hurricane Sandy hits the eastern seaboard, the Feeding America network of food banks and agencies is prepared to deliver truckloads of food, water and supplies to communities in need, through its network of more than 200 food banks and the agencies it serves. Its food banks will also set up additional emergency distribution sites as they are needed. It is anticipated that roughly 25-30 food banks will be impacted by this storm. In times of disaster, Feeding America supports immediate and long-term recovery for individuals and families in need of food assistance. Learn more here.
The Los Angeles-based international relief agency will provide emergency aid to Cuba and Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Operation USA will provide access to safe water and support for clinics and hospitals and assess shelter, safe water, food and other needs. Learn more here or donate by phone at 1.800.678.7255, by check made out to Operation USA, 7421 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036. Text AID to 50555 and donate $10 to Operation USA's disaster relief efforts.
Direct Relief has placed seven hurricane preparedness packs in the Caribbean, each containing medicine and supplies to treat a variety of traumatic and chronic conditions that can support 5,000 people for a month. Packs have also been placed along the U.S. East Coast including 300 clinical partners along the storm's projected path. Direct Relief works with 70 countries to provide disaster relief and preparedness during the most critical hours after a natural disaster. Learn more here.
Save The Children
Save The Children provides child-friendly space kits, including diapers and hygiene items. The organization also maintains a U.S. Emergencies Fund, that allow for disaster planning, emergency preparedness, response and recovery work and psychological support. Save the Children says it's committed to the same level of support for the impending storm. Learn more here.
Team Rubicon, which utilizes the skills of military veterans to assist in responding to and recovering from natural disasters, has teams of highly skilled military veterans working with local authorities preparing to respond to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in communities from Washington, D.C., to Boston. In New York City, Team Rubicon veterans are assisting the city's mobile assessment teams as well as coordinating joint operations in the city's Emergency Operations Center. This not only provides a skilled and motivated work force, but provides a new mission for America's veterans, allowing them to continue to serve here at home and abroad. Learn more here.
International Medical Corps
With Haiti under a state of emergency, the International Medical Corps has teams in place with emergency kits, fuel and flashlights and mobile medical units on standby. In 2010 the International Medical Corps had teams on the ground treating within 22 hours after the earthquake. Since then it has established cholera treatment, primary health care, water and sanitation, and disaster preparedness programs. Learn more here.
Relief Organizations From HuffPost Impact's Partner Interaction:
ADRA International is helping communities in Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, distributing blankets and providing food and water to affected families. In the United States, ADRA is working with local partners to assess what is needed.
All Hands Volunteers is assessing the damage done to the Northeastern states by Hurricane Sandy, and will then launch a volunteer project to most effectively meet local needs.
American Jewish World Service is providing assistance for communities in Haiti.
Brother’s Brother Foundation, working with partners in Haiti, Jamaica and the United Sates, is sending requested supplies and assistance. Four tractor trailer loads of assistance will arrive in the New York City area.
Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation is providing shelter, food, and other emergency relief to the New York and New Jersey areas.
CARE is delivering emergency clean water and hygiene supplies to the worst-affected communities in Haiti.
Catholic Relief Services is providing assistance for communities in Haiti, Cuba, and Jamaica.
Church World Service is responding in Haiti and United States with care kits, blankets, and long-term recovery assistance.
Convey of Hope is responding across the region distributing pre-positioned truckloads of food, water and emergency supplies. We are following up those pre-positioned supplies with additional truckloads of food, water and cleaning supplies, along with mobilizing volunteers across the area to assist in distribution.
Episcopal Relief & Development will support its partners in the Caribbean and U.S. as they respond to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.
Food For The Poor is responding to hard-hit areas in Jamaica and Haiti. Emergency shipments of first aid kits, bottled water, newborn kits, hygiene and cleaning kits and disaster blankets have also been sent.
GlobalGiving’s Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund is supporting local and international partners’ relief and recovery efforts in the Caribbean and the United States.
Global Links is helping affected communities in Cuba.
Good360 is working with partner organizations to help people in the U.S. affected by the storm.
Handicap International continues to work in Haiti and Cuba in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Heart to Heart International is helping people in Haiti and the U.S.
International Emergency and Development Aid distributed over 600 tarps to 300 families in Haiti.
International Orthodox Christian Charities has deployed members of its Emergency Response Network “Frontliners” to provide trauma counseling to survivors of Hurricane Sandy.
International Rescue Committee is distributing emergency supplies, repairing latrines and scaling up cholera prevention activities in Haiti.
Lions Clubs International Foundation has issued a $100,000 Major Catastrophe Grant, in addition to making emergency grants available for Lions to provide relief in hard-hit areas.
Mennonite Central Committee response is being planned with Haitian partner organizations and will include distribution of relief kits sent earlier in anticipation of the hurricane season.
Operation Blessing International is on the ground in New Jersey assessing the damage, setting up mobile kitchens, removing debris, and transporting emergency relief supplies. The organization is also responding in Haiti.