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Superstorm Sandy: The aftermath

PRINCETON — Local Red Cross chapters are continuing their efforts to assist the American Red Cross in relief efforts for the communities hit earlier this week by Superstorm Sandy.

Bureau County Red Cross Director Lori Compton gave an update on some of the national Red Cross efforts in response to Superstorm Sandy, and how local residents can help in those efforts.

As of Thursday morning, the Red Cross had served 164,690 meals and snacks to displaced individuals and families, with another 230,000 meals ready for distribution, Compton said. More than 1,600 clean-up and supply kits have been distributed with more than 1,400 health and mental health consultations provided. Also, as of 12:01 a.m. Thursday, 9,000 people were staying in 170 Red Cross shelters in 13 states. More than 3,300 Red Cross disaster responders have been deployed to the area, including several from the Quad Cities Red Cross Chapter, along with 231 emergency response Red Cross vehicles activated to the area.

Locally, Bureau County residents are encouraged to support the Red Cross disaster relief effort with their financial contributions, Compton said. When writing checks to the Red Cross, it’s important to write “Disaster Relief” on the memo line of the check, but not to designate the money to any specific relief effort, like the Sandy storm victims, she said.

People can also donate $10 by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to help with disaster relief efforts. Through the texting option, the donation is added to the mobile phone bill or deducted from a prepaid balance. The national response to the texting option has been incredible, she said.

In addition to the financial need to help support the Red Cross relief efforts, Compton said there is also a need for additional blood donations to supplement the loss caused by the cancellation of about 300 Red Cross blood drives in 14 states long the East Coast, due to Superstorm Sandy. If at all possible, Bureau County residents are encouraged to take time to donate blood at one of the upcoming local blood drives, she said.

In addition to Thursday’s blood drive at the First United Methodist Church in Princeton, the Bureau County Red Cross chapter has scheduled the following blood drives this month: Monday from 1 to 6 p.m. at Ohio High School; Nov. 12 from 1 to 6 p.m. at Masonic Lodge, Walnut; Nov. 14 from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. at John F. Kennedy Elementary School, 800 N. Richards St. in Spring Valley; and Nov. 14 from 1 to 6 p.m. at LaMoille High School, 801 S. Main St.

As of Thursday morning, approximately five million people across the eastern portions of the United States remained without electric power, down from nearly eight million people who originally lost power from Superstorm Sandy which hit the United States on Monday.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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