31 October 2012
The British Red Cross has launched an appeal to help countries that have been significantly affected by Hurricane Sandy, including Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Cuba and the United States.
The storm has claimed the lives of at least 84 people, caused extensive flooding, damaged buildings, and left thousands of people homeless across the Caribbean and United States.
Devastation across the Caribbean
In Cuba, over 343,000 people were evacuated from their homes, and around 150,000 homes were damaged. There have been huge agricultural losses, and country’s communications infrastructure has also been affected.
In Haiti, around 17,000 people were evacuated, including people still living in camps after the 2010 earthquake. Almost 6,000 families were affected, and thousands of houses were damaged or destroyed.
Between 40 and 60 per cent of houses in the most affected areas of Jamaica have roof damage, and crops have been severely damaged. In total, around 1,500 families in Jamaica have been affected. Due to flooding, risk of disease is also on the rise. The Dominican Republic saw over 17,500 people displaced, with more than 3,500 houses flooded.
After the hurricane reached America, it was downgraded to a tropical storm. However, fierce winds and flooding along hundreds of miles of the US’ Atlantic coastline have shut down transportation, forced people to evacuate and left 7.5 million people without power.
Red Cross response
Across all affected countries, the Red Cross is providing people with essentials such as food, water, healthcare and shelter.
In Cuba, over 2,000 Red Cross volunteers helped during the preventive evacuations which took place before the hurricane hit. They continue to help people in emergency shelters, provide first aid and psychosocial support, and carry out disease prevention promotion.
In Haiti, the Red Cross prepositioned emergency supplies for up to 11,000 families across 13 regions. It also sent out warning messages via SMS, radio broadcasts, and a mobile broadcast sounds truck. The Jamaican Red Cross had pre-positioned hygiene kits, jerry cans, tarpaulins and blankets for 500 families, which it is now distributing to the most affected areas.
When Sandy hit, the American Red Cross housed nearly 11,000 people in its temporary shelters across 16 states. It has mobilised 1,700 disaster workers from all over the country, and a further 170 emergency response vehicles are positioned to respond once it is safe to access affected communities, bringing meals, water, information, emotional support and damage assessment.
Money raised from the appeal will be used to address the greatest unmet need across the region.
Donate to the Hurricane Sandy Appeal
The Hurricane Sandy Appeal will cover numerous countries that have been affected by the recent disaster. In the unlikely event that we raise more money than can be reasonably and efficiently spent, any surplus funds will be used to help us prepare for and respond to other humanitarian disasters anywhere in the world.