In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we have heard countless stories of disaster and tragedy throughout our state and along the East Coast. What you may not have heard about is the relief effort happening right here in our own back yards.
The American Red Cross Connecticut Chapter has set up its statewide Disaster Operations Center on Long Hill Road in Middletown. The site will serve as a statewide staging center for the Red Cross to distribute supplies to affected communities.
Red Cross crews have been traveling to the hardest hit areas of the state looking at damage and working with communities to determine needs, so they can begin to build a response plan. As sheltering needs decrease, the Red Cross is preparing to assist people with additional disaster-related needs.
In Middletown, the Red Cross will work to deploy volunteers in the field, gather information, coordinate delivery routes, load trucks, and distribute supplies to affected areas. Depending upon the need, supplies could include snacks, hot or cold meals, and cleanup supplies. The Red Cross used this same Middletown location after Tropical Storm Irene to stage meals, snacks and cleanup supplies.
Here at Middlesex United Way, we are happy to help the Red Cross with some of the needs at their staging center, and if you want to help, you can make a donation at redcross.org. A $10 donation can be made by texting REDCROSS to 90999. They are also accepting volunteers, and though you may not be assigned right away, you can be trained for a future emergency.
United Way of New York City and United Ways along the Eastern Seaboard have also established a recovery fund to address near-term and long-term recovery needs of communities most affected by the hurricane.
Contributions to the fund will be used by United Ways in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, DC and West Virginia to address recovery needs in communities that FEMA has declared disaster areas. You have the option to designate funds to a particular state or offer general support as needed.
Donations can be made online by visiting www.uwsandyrecovery.org. A $10 donation can be made by texting the word RECOVERY to 52000.
Thank you for any support you can provide to the recovery effort. I am proud to be part of a community that steps up in times of need.