Hurricane Florence: 1,600+ People in NC, SC Evacuation Shelters Overnight

Mary Bos, a Red Cross logistics volunteer, unloads a pallet of water in Charleston, S.C. Her husband is a logistics lead volunteer for the Red Cross and taught her how to use a forklift. Red Cross photo

 As Hurricane Florence closes in on the coast, the American Red Cross is readying for response across as many as 11 states, and urging people in the storm's path to obey evacuation orders and make final preparations now. This dangerous storm is expected to bring catastrophic flooding and life-threatening tidal surges to the region.

The Red Cross has urgent response preparations ongoing in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. As many as 100,000 people may need emergency shelter, and the Red Cross is working with state and local officials to support these efforts. More than 1,600 people spent Tuesday night in 36 Red Cross and community shelters in South Carolina and North Carolina. Dozens more evacuation centers are opening today.

More than 1,500 Red Cross disaster workers are helping Hurricane Florence relief efforts. The Red Cross has additional disaster workers, vehicles, equipment and relief supplies moving into key areas today. Some 80 emergency response vehicles and more than 120 trailers of equipment and relief supplies have been deployed.

As the storm passes, the Red Cross is preparing to provide shelter for tens of thousands of people until they can return home or find other places to stay.

Some evacuation centers may not have cots, food, running water or electricity; they are meant to safely house people for about 72 hours until the storm passes and weather conditions improve. If needed, local government officials may transition evacuation centers into emergency shelters if residents can't return home after the storm passes. The Red Cross supports pre-landfall evacuation centers and post-landfall emergency shelters with trained workers, shelter supplies and other aid.

Get tips on how to prepare and stay safe at redcross.org/hurricane.

PLEASE GIVE BLOOD

 The Red Cross projects that more than 1,445 blood and platelet donations will be cancelled as Hurricane Florence moves across the Southeast. Hurricane Florence has already forced the cancellation of blood drives and additional cancellations are expected over the coming days with fewer blood donors available to give at drives in and around affected areas due to poor weather conditions.

The Red Cross encourages eligible donors in parts of the country unaffected by the storm to give blood or platelets to help ensure a sufficient blood supply. Platelet and type O positive blood donations are critically needed right now.

The Red Cross must collect 13,000 blood donations each day, to ensure patient needs are met at approximately 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Ahead of the storm, the Red Cross sent additional blood products to areas of the Southeast likely to be impacted by the storm and is prepared to send more to ensure patient needs continue to be met.

HOW YOU CAN HELP 

The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by Hurricane Florence by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word FLORENCE to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster. The Red Cross honors donor intent. Donors can designate their donation to Hurricane Florence relief efforts by choosing that option when donating on redcross.org or on 1-800-RED CROSS.

The best way to ensure your donation will go to a specific disaster is to write the specific disaster name in the memo line of a check. We also recommend completing and mailing the donation form on redcross.org with your check.