Editors: This release serves as a sidebar to FEMA’s Oct. 12 News Release NR-051, “Voluntary Organizations Providing Help to Disaster Survivors.”
NEPTUNE, N.J. – Hurricane Irene has brought out some of the very best from volunteers representing organizations around New Jersey. Here’s a partial synopsis of those efforts to date.
American Red Cross (ARC) – Conducted a massive response and sheltering effort in New Jersey beginning Aug. 26. Evacuations along the coastline began before Hurricane Irene made landfall. Sheltering needs continued during and after the storm as floodwaters inundated communities throughout the state. There were 66 New Jersey shelters open or on standby to open at the height of the storm. They operated shelters while more than 740 workers and dozens of response vehicles fanned out in affected communities to serve meals and distribute relief supplies. The Red Cross provided more than 19,680 overnight stays, served more than 300,900 meals and snacks, provided more than 5,100 health service consultations and more than 4,675 mental health contacts. They distributed approximately 18,200 clean up kits, 4,500 comfort kits, and more than 45,450 relief items such as hygiene kits, mops, brooms, tarps, work gloves, shovels, rakes and trash bags.
NJ 2-1-1 – Received calls from individuals looking for information on disaster relief resources. NJ 2-1-1 hosts a resource guide that provides information on federal, state and local programs as well as resources available through all other organizations. These resources are updated on a daily basis. During disasters, NJ 2-1-1 takes all calls from households seeking help with cleanup after flooding. NJ 2-1-1 helps coordinate matching these households with groups working in the state. www.nj211.org
Catholic Family & Community Services – Offered immediate assistance with food, clothing and referrals for other resources to survivors from Passaic, Morris, Sussex and surrounding counties. They also offered long-term disaster case management to help in the recovery process. The Paterson office has counseled 203 families needing assistance since Hurricane Irene. www.catholicharities.org
The Salvation Army – Started its response as households were being evacuated the week before Hurricane Irene’s arrival. Since then, assistance has been in the form of 47,527 meals, 79,427 snacks and hydration, and 3,268 clean up kits. The Salvation Army will next be focused on long-term recovery needs. www.salvationarmynewjersey.org
Community FoodBank of New Jersey – Prepared and distributed more than 33,800 meals, snacks and water to shelters and mobile canteens; received and transported water provided by the state to shelters and townships; received more than 15 trailer loads and distributed more than 100 orders of cleaning supplies, food, toiletries and new clothing to organizations serving those in flood areas.
The FoodBank is the current chair of NJVOAD (New Jersey Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters), coordinating efforts with the state Office of Emergency Management (OEM), as well as state and local nonprofit organizations. www.njfoodbank.org
New Jersey Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) and Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) –Worked 41,941 hours on Hurricane Irene emergency response efforts supporting evacuation and shelter operations, staffing emergency operations and call centers as well as flood cleanup. Volunteers also successfully searched for a missing 10-year old Camde...