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How to help after Sandy

Superstorm Sandy has wreaked havoc in at least 11 states along the East Coast and left its impact in states from Michigan to Tennessee. Approximately 60,000 customers in Northeast Ohio remain without power. When massive disasters happen, people want to help.

(Pictured: Houses destroyed by a fire in the Breezy Point section of Queens, N.Y. from Hurricane Sandy.)

The Ohio Emergency Management Agency has received calls from concerned citizens wanting to volunteer their services here in Ohio and along the East Coast. Disaster recovery and relief groups from all over are assisting with search and rescue, and response and recovery efforts.

To help Ohioans in need, state officials encourage citizens to either work through Ohio VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster – www.ohiovoad.org), or contact a volunteer agency of choice, such as a local American Red Cross chapter.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has established a site that provides information on donating goods and volunteering. Click on www.fema.gov/volunteer-donate-responsibly. Provided are links to National VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster), and volunteer organizations in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

People can also choose to donate to the American Red Cross. The Red Cross had to cancel approximately 300 blood drives because of the storm, and now blood and platelet supplies are running low. Visit www.redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to schedule a donation appointment in your area.

For residents without power, please contact your local 211 for information and lists of resources. Call 911 in an emergency. Information is also available online at www.ema.ohio.gov. Follow along on Twitter with #OHwx.

We encourage open dialogue among people who may disagree. Difficult conversations must be had sometimes to make progress. If you disagree, please disagree respectfully. Cruelty will not be tolerated. This is a family friendly group.
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