The Edmond Sun

October 29, 2012

Okla. nonprofits respond to Hurricane Sandy

Organizations provide ways you can help victims

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — Oklahoma faith-based organizations and other nonprofits are ready to offer assistance as Hurricane Sandy lashed the East Coast on Monday.

The center of the storm was expected to make landfall along or just south of the southern New Jersey coast overnight, with maximum sustained winds at 90 mph and higher gusts.

Hurricane force winds extended outward up to 175 miles; tropical storm force winds extended outward up to 485 miles, according to the National Hurricane Center. Storm surge in the Long Island Sound, Raritan Bay and New York Harbor areas was expected to be 6-11 feet.

Thousands of people across nine states took refuge from Hurricane Sandy in shelters Sunday night as the massive storm neared the shoreline. The storm was expected to transition into a frontal or wintertime low pressure system soon.

Little change in strength was expected before landfall. Dangerous surf conditions were expected to continue from Florida to New England during the next couple of days.

Following are ways Oklahoma residents can help or find help:

• 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 also can 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.red

cross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). This site also connects with the Twitter and Facebook accounts of users.

• 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 also may be sent to someone’s local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C., 20013.

• Red Cross Apps: More than 235,000 people downloaded the free Red Cross Hurricane App Friday when Sandy began approaching, making it one of the most popular free apps. The app gives up-to-date weather alerts, information on open Red Cross shelters, a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and alarm and a one-touch “I’m Safe” button that lets someone use social media outlets to let family and friends know they are OK.

• Donate blood: If you’re not in an affected area, consider donating blood, because numerous blood drives have been canceled as a result of the storm.  To schedule a blood donation or for more information about giving blood or platelets, visit redcross

blood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

• Oklahoma Baptists, whose disaster relief volunteers have responded to wildfires, hurricanes and tornadoes in 2012, are on standby to assist in the wake of any damage related to Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast. To make a tax-deductible donation to the BGCO’s Disaster Relief ministry, visit bgco.org/donate or call 942-3800. For photos, information and updates, visit the Oklahoma Baptists’ blog at ok

disasterhelp.com.

• To receive Hurricane Sandy updates visit www.nhc.noaa.gov/.

• The Salvation Army already has begun feeding operations at shelters along the East Coast. Dozens of mobile feeding units (canteens), able to serve thousands of meals, are stocked and ready to deploy into the most heavily impacted areas once it is safe to do so in coordination with emergency management officials. Right now, monetary donations are the most critical need as supplies and personnel are mobilized. To donate, visit the Salvation Army at www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769). Residents can also text the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation through their mobile phone; to confirm the gift, respond with the word “Yes.”

• Islamic Relief USA Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) has been deployed to help residents of New Jersey being affected by Hurricane Sandy, a category 1 storm that spans some 900 miles in width, as it pummels several states along the East Coast. DART staff and volunteers are providing shelter management services and helping however else needed in New Jersey, where the storm is expected to make landfall. Learn more about this organization’s emergency relief efforts in the U.S. by visiting IRUSA.org/

DisasterResponse.