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Edition Renee Montagne: As Hurricane Sandy, or whether at this point in time it‟s Superstorm Sandy, when it did thunder ashore as a hurricane, Tamara Brownstein was assessing the damage. She was working for the Red Cross in Sea Bright, New Jersey. Tamara Brownstein (Red Cross): And we saw a transformer blow, which just kind of lit up the sky. And then everything went black. And so from there, we just came straight back and we‟ve kind of been hunkering down ever since, which is exactly what we‟ve been telling people in the area to do, as well, because the number one priority is just safety. 10/30, “States Recovering From Superstorm Sandy,” Talk Of The Nation Neil Conan: Among those responding to the damage after Superstorm Sandy – the American Red Cross, providing shelter, food and water to those affected by the storm. Anne Marie Borrego is director of media relations at the American Red Cross and joins us now from their offices. And nice of you to join us today. Anne Marie Borrego (American Red Cross): Thanks so much for having me. Conan: And I gather President Obama was just one of your visitors. Borrego: Yes He was. He came by to talk about the storm and to encourage us to keep up the good work as we continue to respond. Conan: It‟s nice to be encouraged from the very top. Borrego: It sure is. Conan: Now, the extent of this storm is massive. How is the Red Cross responding? Borrego: Well, as of last night, we had – last night we had 11,000 people spending the night in more than 250 Red Cross shelters across 16 states. So that‟s all the way down in Virginia up to – up through the East Coast. And we expect that those numbers could increase as the storm moves into cities like Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago and Milwaukee. Conan: And are people going to the Red Cross shelters? Borrego: Yes, they absolutely are going to Red Cross shelters. And there they can visit with a health counselor or talk with a mental health counselor. They can get a meal and some snacks and get in touch with loved ones by using our Safe and Well feature. Conan: And just tell us a little bit more about that because we have a lot of questions about people asking how they can get in touch with relatives. Borrego: Yes. So there are several ways that people can let others know that they‟re safe. One is the Safe and Well feature, and you can get to that from our website. All you do is simply register that you‟re safe and well. And then during the actual event, the storm, people can go and look you up online and check your status. Another way to let others know that you‟re safe is by downloading our hurricane app. Within our hurricane app, we have a one-touch I‟m safe feature that will push out that information to all of your social networks.
Conan: And so you can send messages to everybody at the same time or at least try to. Borrego: That‟s right. So it will basically go up on Twitter and through Facebook to let everybody know that you‟re OK. Conan: Well, you‟re talking about social media. There‟s a question from Dee by email: I‟ve been wondering why no one is addressing the cell phone outage in New York City. I‟ve been trying to call people and getting nothing. Are you having any experience with that? Borrego: So we‟re actually – I mean here at headquarters we‟re doing just fine, but I know that as we‟ve been communicating with some of our folks in the field, we are noticing that they‟re experiencing some connectivity issues, and that does – that definitely does happen.
10/30, “Superstorm Sandy Inspires Hoaxes, Halts Business,” Talk Of The Nation Conan: In the last hour, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, NOAA‟s National Hurricane Center, the Red Cross and U.S. Coast Guard began a news conference with the latest storm details, response and cleanup efforts. Andy Carvin: I saw a lot of serious engagement happening, people talking, trying to track down friends, find out where they can donate money, getting information from the Red Cross, seeing if there were places where they can volunteer. Conan: President Obama has been monitoring events from the White House here in Washington, D.C. Last hour, he paid a visit to the headquarters of the American Red Cross, and here‟s a little bit of what he had to say. Quote from Obama: Second thing, the reason we‟re here is because the Red Cross knows what it‟s doing when it comes to emergency response. And so for people across the country who have not been affected, now‟s the time to show the kind of generosity that, you know, makes American the greatest nation on Earth. And a good place to express that generosity is by contributing to the Red Cross. Obviously you can go on their website. The Red Cross knows what they‟re doing. They‟re in close contact with federal, state and local officials. They will make sure that we get the resources to those families as swiftly as possible. And again, I want to thank everybody here who is doing such a great job when it comes to the disaster response…So I just want to thank the incredible response that we‟ve already seen, but I do want to remind people this is going to take – this is going to take some time. It is not going to be easy for a lot of these communities to recover swiftly, and so it‟s going to be important that we sustain that spirit of resilience, that we continue to be good neighbors for the duration until everybody‟s back on their feet. All right? Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you, Red Cross. Kyle (a caller): Thank God for the Red Cross as well. They donated many, many cases of water and food supplies and health for all of us as well. 10/30, “The Psychological Damage From Superstorm Sandy,” Tell Me More Dr. Carl Bell (professor of psychiatry): I think the Red Cross has a psychological first aid intervention. So being prepared like that is helpful, especially if you‟ve got kids, because the psychological first aid is designed to help children deal with
all kinds of problems. I mean, it‟s not only hurricanes, it‟s terrorism. It‟s death. It‟s violence. 10/31, “Was The Storm A Political Trick Or Treat?” Tell Me More Michel Martin: President Obama suspended all campaign events until at least Thursday. He‟s in New Jersey today to visit damaged areas. And this is what the president said about the storm response yesterday at the Red Cross headquarters in Washington, DC. Quote from Obama: We are going to do everything we can to get resources to you and make sure that nay unmet need is identified. We are responding to it as quickly as possible, and I told the mayors and the governors if they‟re getting no for an answer somewhere in the federal government, they can call me personally at the White House. Mary Kate Cary: I know if I had lost everything in New York I would much rather – rather than have a politician come through in a motorcade, I would rather see either somebody from the Red Cross or better yet, somebody from College Hunks Hauling Junk… Martin: I mean, remember, the Red Cross is not a governmental agency. It‟s a volunteer – largely volunteer agency; a big one, and – but he‟s also emphasizing the role of FEMA and federal agencies… 11/3, “Staten Island „Wiped Out‟ As Storm Relief Trickles In,” Weekend Edition Saturday Jim Zarroli: I spoke to a Red Cross volunteer named Ellen Abate, and she‟s been going up the island. And I asked her about the damage that she‟s seen. Ellen Abate (Red Cross volunteer): From houses completely gone to water in the basements, and just depends on the area they‟re in. A lot of areas that never got water got it this time – all the way up Hyland Boulevard, water that never went up there before. Besides that, they‟ve also been hit with trees coming down on their property, so it‟s bad. Scott Simon: Jim, are there any signs that FEMA, or for that matter, the Red Cross or other agencies are beginning to make much of a dent in the destruction in Staten Island? 11/4, “Race Canceled, Marathoners Run For Storm Relief,” All Things Considered (Weekend) Unidentified Red Cross Volunteer: You guys need a hot lunch? Step right up to the window. Quil Lawrence: A Red Cross truck is giving out hot meals, and so are many groups from Staten Island 11/5, “Sandy Recovery Effort Faces A New Storm,” Talk Of The Nation Laura Schwartz (caller): The Red Cross, you know, they should have come a lot sooner than they did. You know, and now that they‟re here, I mean, it‟s still- you know, it‟s not very much help. I mean I think we‟re getting more help from, you know, the people of Staten Island verses the government, to be honest with you.
11/6, “Jersey Shore Storm Survivors Face Uncertain Future,” All Things Considered Alix Spiegel: It‟s dinner time at the Red Cross shelter and the volunteers are working hard to keep things reassuring. And so, as the residents lined out in the cafeteria, one of the Red Cross women starts waving her arms for attention. Unidentified Woman #1: Excuse me everybody. Is there a Jan and a Manny in the house? Manny Dinunzio: Right here. Unidentified Woman #1: Right here. Ok, everybody. Happy anniversary. Spiegel: Can people survive financially, emotionally? That‟s what everyone at the shelter was asking. And so, to keep the dark thoughts at bay, the Red Cross arranged for a local entertainer to perform in the cafeteria. 11/12, “New Jersey Racetrack Hosts Displaced Residents,” Morning Edition Laura Sydell: Yesterday, Faycik and her family were moved here to the indoor part of a racetrack. They sleep in a large hall with everyone else on cots. She says the Red Cross has made this bearable. Stephanie Faycik: Helping us with clothes, making sure that we‟re warm, we have enough blankets. We have enough food. Sydell: The Red Cross is one of many organizations that are here trying to make a racetrack feel like home. 11/16, “Obama Promises To Keep Sandy Commitments,” Morning Edition Mara Liasson: Mr. Obama met with first responders and talked to families who came to a supply tent run by New York City. Melanie Portamani lives, or at least she used to live, just a few blocks away. She came to pick up some cleaning supplies and food. She said her home was uninhabitable. Melanie Portamani: It's standing but it's gone. Liasson: Where have you been living? Portamani: We were on a waiting list for a hotel, but we're staying at friends. There's no hotels available. Liasson: And she's not satisfied with the government's response. Portamani: Still waiting on FEMA. Red Cross is nowhere to be found. I think I got a package of tissues from Red Cross. That was about it. Liasson: What do you want to say to the president today? Portamani: We need help and he should have been here a long time ago. This is, you know, it's almost three weeks now and we haven't got nothing.
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