WASHINGTON – Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross, spoke with TMN’s Doug Christian about how the Red Cross is handling the devastation of Florida’s Panhandle left in Hurricane Michael’s wake.
The Red Cross is providing shelters, food and comfort to victims. They have opened 27 shelters with about 2,000 people in them. At the peak, there were about 10,000 people in those shelters.
The Red Cross has 1,300 volunteers and 75 emergency response vehicles fanning out across the affected area. They have already served about 125,000 meals.
To coordinate the distribution of food and water, the Red Cross has built an IT platform that communicates directly with staff on the ground. In the meantime, Verizon and AT&T said they are doing everything they can do to get communications back up. The storm toppled several cell phone towers.
Over 200,000 people are still without electricity.
There is still a basic problem with accessibility as debris litters the landscape.
The Red Cross is privately funded. Fund drives scheduled in the impacted area have been canceled.
Blood donations, volunteering and financial contributions are needed. To donate or volunteer, call 800-RED-CROSS.