The following post was originally published on the FEMA blog on October 30, 2012.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. While the worst of the weather is beyond some areas on the East Coast, Sandy remains a very large storm system that continues to pose life-threatening hazards for coastal and inland areas including high winds, heavy rains, dangerous storm surge and flash flooding, and snow and cold weather hazards in some areas.
Some important safety reminders if you're in an area that has been, or is still being, impacted by this storm:
We've had a number of questions come in on our Facebook and Twitter accounts about how to help those who have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy. A few pointers to remember:
Numerous blood drives have been canceled as a result of the storm and the Red Cross has a need for blood donations. To schedule a blood donation or for more information about giving blood or platelets, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Here's a video from President Obama reminding everyone how we can help those in need after a disaster:
Last night, the President declared major disasters for New York and New Jersey, making disaster assistance available to those in the heaviest hit areas affected by the storm. Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the following counties in New York and New Jersey can begin applying for assistance by registering online or on your phone at http://www.disasterassistance.gov/:
Those impacted can also apply by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired.
In addition to federal disaster assistance being available in several counties, states and localities and the American Red Cross continue to operate emergency shelters in many states. You can search for open shelters by visiting the Red Cross website, downloading the FEMA smartphone app, or by texting the word “shelter” and a ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA). For example, if you're searching for a shelter in the 01234 ZIP code, you would text Shelter 01234.
Finally, we continue to work closely with our emergency management partners and are embedded with state teams to support response efforts and assess unmet needs. Our priority focus remains on life-saving and life-sustaining activities. Currently, more than 1,500 FEMA personnel are positioned along the East Coast working to support disaster preparedness and response operations, including search and rescue, situational awareness, communications and logistical support. Here are some details about our staff's support:
Please share these important safety reminders and we hope you're taking every precaution to stay safe.
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