Fast Facts: Hurricane Irene

Saturday night, the Red Cross operated or supported nearly 500 shelters with more than 27,000 residents. Shelters now stretch from North Carolina to Maine. We have been opening and supporting more shelters as the storm progresses, and we expect those numbers could increase with power outages and possible flooding.

Our main focus right now is providing people with shelter and food and we’re putting the full force of the Red Cross behind our response. That means we have:
• Relief operations in more than a dozen coastal states.
• Thousands of trained disaster workers helping people from North Carolina to New England.
• More than 250 feeding vehicles – or more than two thirds of our entire fleet – ready to go into neighborhoods as soon as conditions permit. This includes every Red Cross feeding truck east of the Rocky Mountains.
• Tens of thousands of prepackaged meals are being positioned along the coast and we are working with our partners to make sure that we have kitchens positioned in the right place after the storm moves through.

The Red Cross is urging immediate blood and platelet donations in areas unaffected by this storm and asks that community members in affected areas to consider donating blood once the storm passes through and it’s safe to do so. Irene has already caused cancellation of more than 50 blood drives and the loss of nearly 1,500 of blood collections along the East Coast at a time when the blood supply is already low.

People should register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website to let friends and family know where they are as Hurricane Irene hits the East Coast. They can register for Safe and Well by going to

This is a big disaster across multiple states, and the response will cost millions. If you can help, we encourage you to click, text or call to donate to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Visit or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

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