CLEVELAND — The American Red Cross is preparing to help tens of thousands of people in the path of Hurricane Dorian as the storm continues to grow stronger and take aim at the southeast coast of the United States.
While the exact path of Dorian remains uncertain, 19 million people live in areas that could be impacted by wind, as much as 15 inches of rain, flooding and a high storm surge. As many as 60,000 people in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina may need emergency shelter.
The Red Cross is coordinating with community partners and emergency responders to prepare evacuation centers for people who may seek shelter over the Labor Day weekend.
As of Sunday, the Red Cross has mobilizing more than 1600 trained volunteers from all over the country, including 10 from Northeast Ohio, to assist in hurricane affected areas.
The Red Cross has also deployed more than 110 emergency response vehicles (ERVs), including two ERVs from Northeast Ohio, which deployed from Akron on Sunday, and more than 99 tractor-trailer loads full of relief supplies to help people in the path of Hurricane Dorian.
While the Red Cross does not typically collect and distribute blood in Florida, approximately 350 blood products have been sent to local blood centers there to ensure patients in need continue to have access to lifesaving blood.
The Red Cross has also pre-positioned additional blood products and stocked many of our hospitals to capacity in areas of the Southeast likely to be impacted by the storm early next week.
With the holiday weekend and approaching hurricane expected to disrupt blood donations, the Red Cross urges eligible individuals in Northeast Ohio to roll up a sleeve to give today. The Red Cross currently has an emergency need for blood donations following a summer shortage. While no blood drives have been cancelled due to the hurricane at this time, it is anticipated low blood donor turnout in and around affected areas due to poor weather conditions in the days ahead. Schedule an appointment today by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).