Washington, D.C. — The American Red Cross is helping people in multiple states as Hurricane Florence pummels the Carolinas with strong winds, heavy rain and dangerous tidal surges. Twice the size of Louisiana, Florence is inundating communities and leaving hundreds of thousands without power.

As Hurricane Florence comes ashore, the Red Cross is providing safe shelter and comfort for evacuees across six states. More than 20,000 people sought refuge in more than 200 Red Cross and community shelters Thursday night to escape the storm’s wrath. View some of their stories here.

As of midnight, 14,000 people were in 124 shelters in North Carolina, and 5,600 people in 59 shelters in South Carolina. An additional 430 people stayed in 23 shelters in Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee and Maryland.

About 2,000 Red Cross disaster workers from all over the country have been mobilized to help shelter, feed and support people affected by Florence. Working with partners, the Red Cross has served 47,000 meals and snacks in North Carolina and South Carolina. To bolster relief efforts, the Red Cross is mobilizing nearly 100 emergency response vehicles and more than 120 trailers of equipment and supplies, including 100,000 ready-to-eat meals and enough cots and blankets for more than 42,000 people.

Some evacuation centers may not have cots, food, running water or electricity; they are meant to safely house people for about 72 hours until the storm passes and weather conditions improve. If needed, local government officials may transition evacuation centers into emergency shelters if residents can’t return home after the storm passes. The Red Cross supports pre-landfall evacuation centers and post-landfall emergency shelters with trained workers, shelter supplies and other aid. 

Since September 11, more than 2.5 million weather alerts have been sent through Red Cross apps to help people make lifesaving decisions.

HOW YOU CAN HELP -- The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by Hurricane Florence by visiting Redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word FLORENCE to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.

The Red Cross honors donor intent. Donors can designate their donation to Hurricane Florence relief efforts by choosing that option when donating on redcross.org or on 1-800-RED CROSS.

The best way to ensure your donation will go to a specific disaster is to write the specific disaster name in the memo line of a check. We also recommend completing and mailing the donation form on Redcross.org with your check.  

Media Release