accessibility & help

Six months on: Red Cross continues to help people after Hurricane Sandy

13 May 2013

It is more than six months since Hurricane Sandy caused devastation across the Caribbean and the east coast of the United States in October 2012. The British Red Cross has now closed its appeal, which funded items such as hygiene parcels and cleaning kits for thousands of vulnerable people.

Disaster response programme manager Ben Webster said: “We’d like to thank everyone who donated to the Hurricane Sandy Appeal and enabled us to support people in the Caribbean and the United States. Our contribution was particularly vital in countries such as Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica, which have struggled to find the resources to cope with this large-scale disaster.”

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement continues to help people in the region recover.

Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic

The Haitian Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are currently finalising cash grants to hundreds of families whose homes were completely or partially destroyed by the hurricane. They have also distributed:

  • more than  971,000 water purification tablets, 5,700 bars of soap and 4,000 hygiene kits
  • more than 1,500 buckets, 2,200 kitchen kits and 4,000 blankets
  • almost 4,500 sachets of oral rehydration salts.

In coming months, the Cuban Red Cross will focus on repairing damaged roofs using hurricane straps, to reduce the risks next hurricane season. To date, the Cuban Red Cross has reached more than 28,150 people with relief items. Volunteers have also visited around 10,500 families to provide information on water treatment and food hygiene.

The Jamaica Red Cross was able to get relief to people quickly after Sandy hit thanks to prepositioned stocks. Since then, it has been delivering food parcels and relief items. It has also been restocking its prepositioned supplies, ready for future emergencies.

Immediately after the hurricane, the Dominican Red Cross helped evacuate people, gave psychosocial support and distributed hygiene kits, blankets, mattresses and mosquito nets. They also installed water tanks and distributed water.

The United States

The American Red Cross is working with about 9,000 families whose homes were destroyed or severely damaged. As well as helping them repair their houses or find new places to live, it is also giving emotional and financial support.

In the months since the storm, more than 17,000 American Red Cross disaster workers – about 90 percent of them volunteers – have responded to help people affected by Sandy. They have:

  • served more than 17 million meals and snacks
  • distributed more than seven million relief items
  • provided almost 113,000 health services and emotional support contacts
  • provided more than 81,000 shelter stays.

British Red Cross support

The British Red Cross used its appeal funds to meet the greatest unmet needs in the region. As such, its response focussed on Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica, where many families lost everything and communities lacked the resilience to bounce back.

Combining appeal funds and money from the Department for International Development, the British Red Cross provided over £960,000 towards the relief effort in Cuba, £1million to Haiti, and £30,000 to Jamaica. It is also supporting the American Red Cross in its work to help people affected by Sandy.

Help us respond to future crises, donate to our Disaster Fund


Caribbean news

The Department for International Development is providing £850,000 to support people in Cuba.

The British Red Cross is sending support worth £80,000 to relief operations in Jamaica and Cuba.