Thousands look to Red Cross for shelter from Hurricane Sandy

Eleven thousand people across nine states took refuge from Hurricane Sandy in 258 American Red Cross shelters Monday night as the massive storm neared the East Coast.

The Red Cross has deployed more than 1,300 disaster workers to the region from all over the country to help those affected by the storm. Red Cross Volunteers from across South Dakota have stepped forward to assist when they are called to help. As many as 160 emergency vehicles are ready to respond when it is safe to do so, and more than 230,000 ready-to-eat meals have been sent into the area.

"Sandy is a large and dangerous storm, and will affect large parts of the eastern part of the country for the next few days, said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. "We urge people to remain in a safe place until it passes, and to listen to instructions from local officials."

To find a Red Cross shelter, people can download the Red Cross Hurricane app, visit the Red Cross web site, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or check their local media outlets."

People can also register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website, a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies. To register, visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). This site also connects with the Twitter and Facebook accounts of users.

HOW TO HELP "This will be a large, costly relief response and the Red Cross needs help now," Shimanski said. "People can help by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief online, by text or by phone."

Financial donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter at 808 West Ave N, Sioux Falls, SD 57104, or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

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