Red Cross responding to Hurricane Gustav

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


Thousands of local Red Cross volunteers are working around the clock to provide relief in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Cuba and the United States. Hurricane Gustav was blamed for more than 96 deaths in the Caribbean, including 51 in southwestern Haiti.

Gustav came ashore in Louisiana in Monday as a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of 177 kph. The American Red Cross embarked on its largest relief effort since Katrina, sheltering, feeding and providing emotional support to thousands of Gulf Coast residents. On the first night of major sheltering, the Red Cross provided shelter to nearly 45,000 people in 344 locations over eight states.

Before the hurricane made landfall in the U.S., the Red Cross prepositioned supplies in the region to shelter up to 500,000 people for six days. Some 3,000 disaster response volunteers and staff are in place, while 200 mobile feeding trailers are positioned around the Gulf Coast and can be deployed at a moment’s notice. This mobilization of people and supplies cost the Red Cross more than $12 million before the storm even made landfall.

The Canadian Red Cross is on standby with trained disaster response personnel who can be deployed to the region if requested. Over 200 Canadian Red Cross volunteers deployed to the U.S. Gulf Coast to support the Red Cross response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

In addition to helping support thousands affected by this year’s hurricane season, the Red Cross works with communities to prepare for future hurricane. Preparedness is key to helping to save lives and support is needed to continue this important work.

Canadians wishing to help support Hurricane response and disaster preparedness activities are encouraged to contribute by donating online, calling 1-800-418-1111 or contacting their local Red Cross office. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked “Hurricanes 2008” and mailed to the Canadian Red Cross National Office, 400 Cooper Street, Suite 8000, Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2H8.