As Hurricane Sandy storms her way across the East Coast, the call for disaster relief is resounding as 7.5 million people are without electricity and thousands are displaced from their homes near the coast. At this point in the Frankenstorm, more than 3,000 people have taken refuge in Red Cross shelters, a number that continues to grow. The Red Cross has deployed almost 1,500 aid workers and delivered more than 200,000 ready-to-eat meals.
Before we publish photos and stories from the waves that hit the Outer Banks, Florida, and other East Coast spots, we want to encourage you to support the widespread aid efforts for the tens of millions affected by this storm. If you've surfed a wave during Hurricane Sandy, pay it forward by supporting disaster relief. Financial donations to the Red Cross help provide shelter, food, and other assistance to those who need it. Red Cross emergency vehicles are currently mobilizing to distribute meals and relief supplies after the storm passes.
— American Red Cross (@RedCross) October 29, 2012
"The Red Cross has shelters open and will be opening more throughout the day. Hundreds of disaster workers are ready with relief supplies and emergency vehicles in place to help," said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. "This will be a large, costly relief response and we need help now."
To donate, visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
In addition, the storm has caused the cancellations of more than 100 blood drives in 11 East Coast states, resulting in a shortage of 3,200 blood and platelet donations. The Red Cross has asked that anyone eligible to donate blood, especially in areas not affected by the storm, schedule a donation as soon as possible.
Waves for Water is currently seeking assistance to help rebuild the East Coast surf community. Mobilize with fellow surfers in this post-Hurricane Sandy relief effort at WavesForWater.org/.
Former professional surfer and current humanitarian Jon Rose is leading an effort to help rebuild post Sandy devastation. As a first responder to the surf-community, Jon's non-profit organization, Waves For Water, will lead a focused effort to remove storm debris and assist with other basic survival needs associated with the catastrophic storm. The team is currently gathering the intelligence of his friends and colleagues in the North Carolina, New Jersey and New York coastal areas for immediate support.
"Many of our favorite East Coast surfing epicenters are completely wiped out and under water," says Rose, who's spearheaded previous relief efforts to countries like Haiti, post-tsunami Japan, North Korea, and Afghanistan. "More than anything, there's a need for resources and manpower to restore these precious stretches of coastline."
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Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected on the East Coast, surfers or otherwise. As different avenues of relief are established, you'll find updates here on SurferMag.com/.