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Red Cross There as Hurricane Ike Roars Ashore

More than 20,000 in shelters in four states

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Red Cross workers are providing shelter, food and emotional support for tens of thousands affected by Hurricane Ike. From Lake Charles, Louisiana, to Houston, Texas, the Red Cross is there, on the ground, providing relief.

Last night, as Hurricane Ike came ashore, the Red Cross sheltered more than 20,000 people across four states, providing cots, blankets, toiletries and emotional support.

The Red Cross has over 1 million shelf stable meals available for distribution post landfall. There are 25-30 kitchens ready to be put in place, as soon as it is determined safe, with the capability to serve up to 500,000 meals per day. These kitchens will be located in areas close to the impacted areas where fixed and mobile feeding operations will start. Over 120 mobile feed trucks are poised to assist in the delivery of food, water and bulk supplies to people who are returning to their homes.

Although search and rescue is a mission for Federal, state and local governments, the Red Cross is ready to accept those rescued into our evacuation shelters. The Red Cross has moved additional units of blood into Northern Texas to address possible medical needs resulting from the catastrophic storm.

Evacuees are encouraged to register on Safe and Well (, the Web site that allows people directly affected by a disaster to let their loved ones know that they are okay. Safe and Well is also accessible through the American Red Cross public Web site, For those without internet access, you can register yourself and your family by calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). Follow the prompts for disaster information.

As the Red Cross continues helping individuals and families battered by the 2008 storms and hurricanes, a national fundraising campaign has been launched to raise an initial $100 million to fill a Disaster Relief Fund depleted after an active year of disasters. The Disaster Relief Fund allows the Red Cross to provide emergency assistance to help victims of disasters meet their immediate needs for food, shelter, counseling and other critical services.

You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the Hurricanes of 2008, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. You can log-on to or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) to make a donation. You can also use your cell phone to donate $5 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by text messaging the keyword "GIVE" to "2HELP" (24357). You can send multiple donations depending on your carrier. Contributions will appear on monthly bills or be debited from a prepaid account balance. All applicable text rates apply.

About the American Red Cross:

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the Hurricanes of 2008, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting

SOURCE American Red Cross
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