Red Cross responding to active 2008 hurricane season in United States

Note: The following appeal is now closed.  You can support our ongoing work by donating to the Canadian Red Cross


We are now in the most active period of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. In the course of two weeks hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike have swept through the US.

In the wake of Hurricane Ike, millions of people have no electricity. It could be weeks until their power is restored. It may be months until Galveston reopens. Hundreds of thousands who evacuated don’t know if their homes are damaged or when they can return home.

Red Cross response to these hurricanes was immediate. Thousands of local Red Cross employees and volunteers are working around the clock to provide safe shelter, food, water, and comfort to families in cities impacted by the hurricanes.

The Canadian Red Cross has initiated the moblization of personnel to meet the Amercian Red Cross needs. Volunteers are being deployed from Nova Scotia (Halifax, Richibucton Road and Berwick, King's County), Newfoundland (Gander), Saskatchewan (Yorkton), Alberta (Calgary), and British Columbia (Comox).

In Texas:

  • Over 17,000 people sought refuge in 144 shelters.
  • The Red Cross has served more than 130,000 meals and snacks to those affected by Hurricane Ike.
  • More than 2,000 Red Cross disaster workers are on the ground to assist.
  • More than 100 Emergency Response Vehicles are in state.

Before Ike and its devastation, the US was already hard hit by Hurricane Gustav, which made landfall in Louisiana on September 1 as a Category 2 hurricane. The American Red Cross embarked on its largest relief effort since Katrina, sheltering, feeding and providing emotional support to thousands of Gulf Coast residents.

After hurricane Gustav, close to a million people returned to homes without power, and need food. Others found their homes unlivable, and need shelter. There’s a perception that Louisiana “dodged a bullet” from Gustav. But we’re still at work there sheltering hundreds of t.

Canadians wishing to donate may do so online, by calling toll-free 1-800-418-1111 or in-person at any Red Cross office. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked “United States Hurricane Appeal” and mailed to the Canadian Red Cross National Office, 400 Cooper Street, Suite 8000, Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2H8.

In-kind donations of food, clothing and other items, while well intentioned, are not the best way to help those in need. There are tremendous processing and transportation costs involved in shipping these items to beneficiaries. Local purchases of food and clothing are more culturally appropriate and effective. Red Cross supplies can be purchased in the immediate area, thereby reducing transportation costs. Cash transfers to the affected region provide the optimum flexibility to our Red Cross colleagues so they can meet the most urgent needs.