Canadian Red Cross

Canadian Red Cross

September 12, 2008 10:20 ET

Red Cross Responding in Several Countries and Preparing as Hurricane Ike Bears Down on the U.S.

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 12, 2008) - A violent hurricane season, which has left hundreds of people dead and tens of thousands more displaced, now has the Red Cross rapidly preparing to expand their relief efforts should Hurricane Ike wreak havoc on the Southern United States as currently anticipated.

"The Canadian Red Cross is ready to assist should our help be required once Ike makes landfall again," says Don Shropshire, national director of disaster management for the Red Cross. "This will be an expansion of an already massive relief effort currently underway throughout the Americas."

Over the last two weeks, three hurricanes - Gustav, Hanna, and Ike - have swept through the Americas, affecting Haiti and Cuba most seriously, but also Jamaica, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, the Dominican Republic and the United States.

Hurricane Gustav and tropical storm Hanna have caused widespread flooding in Haiti. Many areas are inaccessible due to washed out bridges and roads. It is estimated that over 250,000 people have been impacted.

The hurricanes have been equally as devastating in Cuba. Gustav is widely considered to be the strongest storm to strike Cuba in 50 years. More than 60 per cent of Cuban territory was directly affected. Hurricane Ike has also cut through Cuba, complicating relief efforts. Over 2 million people have been evacuated from their homes.

Red Cross response to these hurricanes was immediate. Thousands of local Red Cross employees and volunteers across the Americas are working around the clock helping affected communities with evacuations, shelter and emergency supplies.

In response to the ongoing and urgent needs of thousands affected by these disasters the Canadian Red Cross deployed over $80,000 worth of urgently needed supplies and three health experts to affected communities in Haiti.

The Government of Canada has generously provided $100,000 to help vulnerable people in affected communities throughout the Caribbean. In addition, relief supplies and a Canadian Red Cross logistics officer were deployed to Haiti to help support 2,000 families. Canadian Red Cross logistics officer accompanied the shipment and will remain in Haiti to support the Red Cross logistics team in the country.

As Hurricane Ike makes its way towards North America, Red Cross is gearing up to respond.

"The American Red Cross is now engaged in a massive preparation effort as Hurricane Ike approaches the U.S.," says Shropshire. "In addition to encouraging residents to prepare, they are working with state and federal officials to support the evacuation of those potentially in Ike's path."

Red Cross is working around the clock to respond to the needs of people impacted by hurricanes in the Americas. Canadian Red Cross is urging the public to support relief efforts already underway.

Canadians wishing to donate may do so online at www.redcross.ca, by calling toll-free 1-800-418-1111 or in-person at any Red Cross office. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked "Hurricanes 2008" and mailed to the Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Red Cross
    Media Relations Line
    613-740-1994