As Hurricane Harvey nears land, the American Red Cross is mounting a massive relief effort ahead of the most deadly and devastating hurricane forecast to strike the United States in over a decade.
Hurricane Harvey will make landfall tonight along the Texas Gulf Coast with over 100 mph winds and up to 35 inches of rain, leading to devastating and life-threatening flooding. Tornadoes are also possible. The storm is expected to hover over parts of Texas and Louisiana for several days
Evacuation orders are in effect throughout parts of the two states. More than 90 people spent Thursday night in 7 Red Cross shelters and nearly 50 additional shelters are ready to open and support thousands of people if needed. People in the path of this storm should stay informed and immediately heed any evacuation orders underway from local officials.
“This is a dangerous storm and the next few days are going to challenge everyone along the Gulf Coast. This is the time for folks to come together to support one another,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president of Disaster Services Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. “We are launching our largest hurricane relief effort in years, and with the help of our partners, we are ready to shelter thousands of people.”
The Red Cross is mobilizing hundreds of trained Red Cross disaster relief workers, truckloads of kitchen supplies, and tens of thousands of ready-to-eat meals to support this response effort. Trailers full of shelter supplies including cots and blankets—enough to support more than 20,000 people—are arriving in Texas today. More than 40 Red Cross emergency response vehicles are activated with more on alert. The Red Cross is also working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners in both Texas and Louisiana to coordinate potential response efforts.