The Red Cross said Saturday it was stepping up its efforts to help Hurricane Sandy victims as word of a new East Coast storm broke this week.
Meteorologists said the storm is expected to hit the mid-Atlantic and New England states in the middle of next week. The Red Cross has said its main focus is to prepare for the storm’s arrival.
Charley Shimanski, the organization’s senior vice president of disaster services, said, “Red Cross’ operational priorities right now are logistics, feeding and preparing for the pending storm. We’re pushing heavy mobilization and distribution.”
The Red Cross will be working with local authorities to set up warming shelters throughout the region. The organization will be stocking the facilities additional blanks, pillows, and any other resources that will be needed.
Shimanksi also said there are more than 4,200 Red Cross volunteers on the ground at the moment, and that the organization will be bringing in support from Canada and Mexico as well.
Craig Fugate, a FEMA administrator, said more than 122,000 people have volunteered to help the storm recovery efforts, and that more than $107 million in donations had been approved as of mid morning Saturday. With around 18,000 people in shelters, Fugate said the agency has set up a short-term housing assistance program that will supply vouchers for hotels and motels.
The Weather Channel said forecasts indicate a possible “very windy, rainy, and cold Wednesday into Thursday along the Northeast I-95 corridor.” The channel also said “the combination of weather impacts will add insult to injury for the recovery process along the East Coast.”