Happy Hurricane Season?

Friday, 14 June 2013, 17:11 | Category : Guest Bloggers
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With the recovery from Superstorm Sandy is still underway, the 2013 Hurricane Season began on June 1st.  Below are this year’s predictions.

The  2013 hurricane season, which began June 1, could be extremely active, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center  issued a pre-season Atlantic hurricane forecast that calls for 13 to 20 named storms, including 7 to 11 hurricanes. Of those, 3 to 6 could be major hurricanes, Category 3 and above, with winds above 111 mph.   Those ranges are well above the seasonal averages of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes. The forecasts do not include predictions about storm surges.

Now is the time to become Red Cross Ready: Get a kit. Make a plan. Be informed. http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family

Develop and discuss your plans for hurricane season with family, friends and neighbors. Consider children, people with disabilities, seniors, and pets. Make several lists. What would you need to have on hand in order to shelter in place in your home or with neighbors? What would you need in the event you must evacuate to stay with family or ride out the storm in a shelter?

Get Tech Ready: The Red Cross has several “apps” you can download, if you haven’t already, starting with the Red Cross Hurricane App. Just visit the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store depending on your device.  Search for Red Cross.

As part of National Preparedness Month, the American Red Cross, FEMA, and Google are joining forces to teach people how to use technology and social media to prepare for emergencies and to “Get Tech Ready.”

Americans are relying more and more on social media and technology to learn about disasters, to seek help in emergencies, and to share information about their own well-being. In fact, a recent Red Cross survey shows that the internet is the third most popular way for Americans to gather emergency information.

Text and data services tend to be more resilient than phones during an emergency and with half of Americans using social media everyday that presents a unique opportunity for people to utilize those tools to get and give emergency help.

-Peter Wise, Ouidad Co-Founder

 Please click below to make a donation:

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American Red Cross: Superstorm Sandy

Thursday, 28 March 2013, 15:02 | Category : Ouidad, The Business, Press
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More than four months after Superstorm Sandy’s landfall, donations to the American Red Cross are helping people with food, emotional support and long-term assistance. We will continue to be there as Sandy survivors and these communities recover and rebuild. The Red Cross has been distributing an average of 30,000 meals and snacks each day in New York. This includes our support for several community food banks to help provide meals to people in the hardest hit areas.

Superstorm Sandy 2012

November 9, 2012, Rockaway Beach, Queens New York. Red Cross volunteers Jay Schaffer and Kaohlee Vue provide much needed comfort to Rockaway Queens resident Leonid Zubok in his 12th floor apartment in a Rockaway, Queens apartment building that has been without power and heat since Hurricane Sandy hit. It’s been a challenging time for the Zubok’s and for everyone in this Queens, New York beach community. Photo by Talia Frenkel/American Red Cross

A big part of our recovery efforts is working one-on-one with people. Trained Red Cross workers are helping people get assistance with home repairs, rent, utility deposits, and connecting them with social service programs. They also work with government agencies, leaders and other nonprofits in a coordinated way to help people recover. FEMA and other government partners asked us to focus first on an estimated 9,000 families whose homes were destroyed or heavily damaged to assist them in moving into longer-term rental housing or repairing their homes.

The Red Cross is also giving grants to support the work of a broad coalition of nonprofits. This has included grants of nearly $6 million to three food banks in New York to help people who still need access to food, $500,000 to Operation Hope to provide assistance and financial counseling to survivors, and $5 million to a mold remediation program to help New York residents clean up their homes.

Superstorm Sandy is the largest U.S. response by the Red Cross in more than five years, and our emergency relief efforts for Sandy has continued for months, much longer than most other disasters. So far, we have:

-Served 16 million meals and snacks.

-Handed out more than 7 million relief items such as cold weather items and cleanup supplies.

-Provided nearly 113,000 health services and emotional support contacts for people who have been living in very tough conditions.

-Mobilized a total of more than 17,000 trained workers who have rotated through to help. About 90 percent of them are volunteers from all over the country.

-Overall, a range of groups provided more than 163,000 shelter stays for Sandy, and the Red Cross provided more than 81,000 of those stays.

The Red Cross has spent or made commitments to spend about $145 million to date; just over half the money we’ve raised for Sandy. That is a large amount of money to be spent in such a short period of time, but as we’ve seen with other disasters, recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. Immediately after a disaster, response organizations deliver emergency relief to thousands of people in shelters and neighborhood blocks. But during recovery, the work must be one-on one, and that takes more time and is less visible. To date, Red Cross staffers have already made nearly 22,000 contacts with people on their recovery efforts.

Our Katrina recovery work lasted for five years, our work in Haiti is now in its third year and we’re still helping families in Joplin, Missouri. Housing is the biggest need right now, and we know it will take time to rebuild houses and businesses.

As the recovery goes on, the needs of survivors will evolve. It’s important to make sure some money is available for those needs no one can predict right now. For example, a year after the Joplin tornado, mental health assistance became an issue again as people grappled with the one-year anniversary.

However long it takes, the Red Cross has committed that that money donated for Sandy will be used to help the individuals and communities affected. We will be transparent about how the money is being spent and you can check redcross.org for our three-month progress report.

 Please click below to make a donation, in their honor:

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March is Red Cross Month

Monday, 4 March 2013, 16:28 | Category : Press
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After seeing firsthand the devastating effects of Hurricane Irene in 2011, I could no longer ignore a growing desire to do more to help ease the suffering of our fellow citizens in response to natural disasters. Dollars are vital and provide the necessary materials and supplies that bring relief but the individuals who volunteer their time, do the hard work and show compassion to the victims of these disasters are just as important.

With careful consideration and long discussions with Ouidad, I embarked on a journey to count myself among those that I had admired for their selflessness. After wrapping up some projects to create time in my schedule, I joined the American Red Cross in April 2012.

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Ouidad Founder, Peter Wise

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