The need for disaster assistance continues to grow. The American Red Cross is providing aid and comfort to thousands of people in multiple states affected by Superstorm Sandy and is doing everything possible to get help quickly to those in need.

This effort has required extensive preparation and response. Trailers of relief supplies were pre-positioned along the East Coast, including 230,000 shelf-stable meals, and additional supplies such as cleanup and personal hygiene items, cots, blankets, coolers, shovels, tarps, gloves and masks are ready and being deployed.

The Red Cross opened or supported 258 shelters and provided overnight stays for more than 92,500 people in 16 states from Virginia to Massachusetts to Ohio as the storm came ashore.

To date, more than 5,350 Red Cross workers have been deployed to support the relief efforts, and more are on their way now. Our entire fleet of 323 emergency response vehicles has been activated.

To date, these efforts have combined to serve more than 1,000,000 meals and snacks and distribute 60,200 relief items like clean-up kits or hygiene kits. The Red Cross has also provided more than 17,200 health and mental health consultations.

The response to Sandy is very large and the public's help is needed. People can make a financial donation by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Contributions may also be sent to 1451 4th St. NW, New Philadelphia, OH 44663. The latest disaster updates can be found at www.redcross.org/news-events. Together, we can help change lives!

Chad Conrad

Executive Director

American Red Cross

Muskingum Lakes Chapter