We continue to watch and hear about the destruction and consequently the relief efforts due to Superstorm Sandy. Sandy was a massive storm that caused a tremendous amount of destruction. The north country was very lucky and did not have the high winds and rain that the Greater New York area and eight other states experienced.
The American Red Cross has responded with what could be our biggest U.S. disaster response in the past five years. Currently there are over 5,700 individuals working across nine states providing shelter, food and encouragement. Of these 5,700 individuals, 90 percent are volunteers. We have over 350 vehicles driving through neighborhoods to hand out water, food and relief supplies. We are also delivering thousands of bags stuffed with relief supplies like cleaning, hygiene and comfort items in all five New York boroughs and New Jersey. To date (written Nov. 14), more that 5.6 million meals and snacks have been served and the American Red Cross has provided more than 40,300 health services and emotional support contacts to people affected by Sandy.
On the evening of Oct. 29, the north country was ready for Sandy to hit. Many citizens took our advice and were prepared for the worst. In the event we needed to mobilize, our volunteers and partners were ready to open shelters, provide meals and support our north country neighbors. Thank you to all our partners: Sackets Harbor Central School, South Lewis Central School, Brasher Falls Central School, Hammond Central School, Ogdensburg Free Academy, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, SUNY Potsdam, The Ranger School, Pizza Hut, Little Caesars, Potsdam Police Department, Wal-Mart Store #5497, Sams Club, Byrne Dairy, Salvation Army, Fort Drum Red Cross Station and, most importantly, our volunteers who were ready to leave their homes to care for others.
We are also very thankful for the generosity of the north country. The Northern New York chapter has received very generous donations from the citizens of the north country. The dollars are much appreciated and will support disaster relief efforts across nine states for many months.