The Magnitude of Disaster Relief

It’s been three weeks since Hurricane Sandy devastated much of the New Jersey and New York coastal areas. Clean up and relief for disaster victims continues. Progress is being made but there is still much to do.

This past Saturday in a warehouse in Richmond,VA about 30 volunteers and employees of the American Red Cross filled over 1,300 coolers with food for delivery to the disaster region. On Sunday many more showed up (200, I believe) with the goal of 8,000 more coolers. The aim is to provide a meal for as many as possible this Thanksgiving.

It’s difficult sometimes to comprehend the scale of a disaster relief operation like the one ARC is currently undertaking. There are 300 Red Cross emergency vehicles in the NJ/NY region alone, and starting before the storm made landfall 8,800 disaster responders have been deployed. 6 million meals and snacks have been served. All of this continues today and likely will for weeks to come.

I saw only a snippet this weekend of the organization and logistics involved and it blew me away. If Sunday’s operation in the Richmond warehouse went off as smoothly as Saturday’s (and I have no doubt it did), the 8,000 cooler goal will be met easily.

Update: 8,000 cooler goal was indeed met! Incredible!

Robert Pratt of the American Red Cross moving coolers in a warehouse in Virginia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *