Utah Red Cross steps up support for Sandy victims
Disaster relief • 10 more Utah volunteers are deploying, bringing total to 22.
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Ten more volunteers from the American Red Cross Utah Region are deploying Monday to areas devastated by Superstorm Sandy, bringing the number of deployed volunteers from Utah to 22.

They will join thousands of fellow Red Cross workers from all over the country who are supporting shelters, providing food and water at fixed sites, and driving through neighborhoods to distribute meals and supplies.

More than 5,000 Red Cross volunteers and disaster workers have already deployed, and the need for volunteers shows no signs of diminishing.

"As the need for Red Cross assistance continues to unfold, Utah continues to rise to the occasion," said Maxine Margaritis, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross Utah Region. "We've seen incredible generosity from Utahns already, including vital donations of money and blood. Giving time is also an important way to help those suffering due to this terrible storm, and the dedication and commitment of our Utah volunteers is heartwarming."

To date, the Red Cross has helped people in 10 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico affected by Sandy and has:

• Served more than 1 million meals and snacks.

• Provided more than 17,000 health services and emotional support contacts.

• Handed out more than 60,000 relief items.

"This relief operation has just begun, and thousands of people are in need of basic necessities. The road to recovery will be a long one for many. We encourage everyone to continue to donate money, blood, and time in the days and weeks ahead," Margaritis added.

People can make a financial donation in support of Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone's local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

Nearly 360 Red Cross blood drives have been cancelled due to the storm, representing a loss of as many as 12,000 blood and platelet products. The Red Cross is asking people who are eligible, especially in places not affected by the storm, to schedule a blood donation now.

To schedule a donation time or get more information about giving blood, people can visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To give blood, someone must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health. Donors should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID with them. Some states allow 16-year-olds to give with parental consent.

People can let their loved ones know how they are OK by using the "I'm Safe" button on the Red Cross Hurricane App, or registering on the Red Cross Safe and Well website.

The Hurricane App, which also contains safety tips on what people should do after the storm, can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. To register on Safe and Well, people can visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join their blog at http://blog.redcross.org.