September 11 2001: The Red Cross Responds


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The 9/11 terrorist attacks were a seminal moment for our nation, as one of the worst days in American history brought out the best of the American spirit.

Before the smoke had cleared, the American Red Cross in Greater New York met the challenge of the 9/11 attacks with immediate on-the-scene responses. As the embers smoldered and eventually burned out, Red Cross work continued.

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September 11 2001: The Red Cross Responds

  1. 1. September 11, 2001<br />The Red Cross Responds<br />
  2. 2. WEEK 1<br />
  3. 3. The Senior Director of Emergency Services for the American Red Cross in Greater New York rushes to the World Trade Center after the first plane hits the North Tower. As the disaster unfolds, she and other Red Cross staff members are forced to evacuate and regroup at the Greater NY Red Cross headquarters. <br />
  4. 4. Red Cross Disaster Services personnel meet and immediately launch the initial phase of the response. The entire staff of the Greater New York Chapter is mobilized for emergency service. <br />
  5. 5. The plaza outside the Red Cross building at150 Amsterdam Avenue fills with people who want to volunteer. Donations of money—checks and cash—are hand-delivered to the front desk. Groups of children contribute money they have spontaneously collected. <br />
  6. 6. The Red Cross opens 13 shelters for people stranded in Manhattan or left homeless after the attacks. Each shelter is staffed with mental-health professionals, volunteers to provide meals, and registered nurses to address medical emergencies.<br />
  7. 7. Six thousand trained disaster volunteers mobilize to provide crisis counseling, shelter, food and support. The Red Cross sends Emergency Response Vehicles and18 Mobile Relief Units to support and feed 10,000 emergency response workers. New York State-licensed and certified mental-health professionals are called in to assist in crisis counseling. <br />
  8. 8. Working in partnership with the Southern Baptist Kitchen, Red Cross volunteers and employees open two mobile kitchens serving food on a 24-hour basis to recovery workers, volunteers and anyone affected by the disaster. <br />
  9. 9. The Red Cross operates a phone bank from the offices of Channel 13/WNET. Mental-health volunteers take calls from people in need of assistance. The American National Red Cross activates a 24-hour communications center to coordinate inquiries to Red Cross chapters in the US and around the world from those seeking information about missing loved ones. <br />By September 13, volunteers staffing Red Cross emergency hotlines have answered approximately 43,000 calls. <br />
  10. 10. Disaster Relief headquarters moves to Brooklyn as Red Cross volunteers and employees arrive from all over the country to join forces with New York-area personnel. <br />
  11. 11. The Red Cross partners with Disaster Chaplaincy Services to offer spiritual solace to people affected by the disaster, including families of those lost, rescue and recovery workers and neighborhood residents. More than 400 clergy members from a variety of faiths are deployed to New York City communities and the Compassion Center. <br />
  12. 12. Seven hundred mental-health professionals are recruited as volunteers to work one-on-one with survivors and the families of victims. <br />
  13. 13. With help from Microsoft and Compaq, the Red Cross launches the Family Registration Web site where individuals can register information that will let loved ones know they are safe. Personal computers are later installed in public locations throughout Greater New York, and the information submitted is cross-referenced with the thousands of inquiries coming into Red Cross hotlines across the country and around the world. <br />
  14. 14. WEEK 2<br />
  15. 15. When the financial markets reopen in Manhattan, 10 Emergency Response Vehicles carrying teams of Red Cross mental-health volunteers are stationed at major transportation hubs to offer counseling. They distribute some 30,000 brochures—“How Do I Deal with My Feelings?”—offering people advice on how to cope with emotional trauma and where to find help. <br />
  16. 16. The Compassion Center moves from the Park Avenue Armory to Pier 94 on the Hudson River and is renamed the Family Assistance Center. The Red Cross continues to play a major role, offering financial assistance, bereavement counseling, help with gathering information and meals for both families and workers. <br />
  17. 17. Two Red Cross Service Centers are opened in Manhattan where people affected by the disaster can meet one-on-one with trained caseworkers. Families who lost housing, whose jobs are in the affected area or who are having any problem as a result of the disaster receive immediate attention and financial assistance. <br />
  18. 18. A third Service Center is opened in midtown Manhattan, and a Respite Center at Ground Zero gives workers a place where they can rest, shower, eat and receive crisis counseling. The Red Cross works with leading New York restaurateurs to ensure that recovery workers are well fed as they work their 12-hour shifts. Children from all over the country send letters and teddy bears, which are given to workers when they come in to rest. <br />
  19. 19. An unprecedented Family Gift Program is launched by the American Red Cross to help families whose loved ones have died or were seriously injured meet their immediate financial needs. This gift program assesses each family’s needs, and provides grants for living expenses such as food, clothing, utilities, mortgage or rent payments, funeral and related expenses. <br />
  20. 20. Approximately 350 Red Cross volunteers and employees assist at the “Prayer for America” service in Yankee Stadium and provide physical, mental-health and spiritual assistance. <br />
  21. 21. WEEK 3<br />
  22. 22. The American Red Cross reaches a milestone, having deployed close to 17,000 volunteers and having served more than 3 million meals to relief workers, families and community workers since September 11. <br />
  23. 23. The Red Cross, in conjunction with various New York restaurants, continues to serve more than 150,000 meals and snacks to recovery and relief workers every day.<br />
  24. 24. Truckloads of donated boots, goggles, hardhats and other items continue to arrive from all over the country in an unprecedented wave of generosity.<br />
  25. 25. The Disaster Relief headquarters in Brooklyn manages the complicated logistics of delivering in-kind gifts from all over the country to the people who need them. These gifts include new boots for recovery workers, who require replacements as often as every two days.<br />
  26. 26. WEEK 4<br />
  27. 27. Since September 11, Red Cross mental-health professionals have had more than 61,000 one-on-one meetings with people affected by the tragedy. Also providing support are spiritual counselors, Oklahoma City residents who lost loved ones in the 1995 bombing, and specially trained therapy dogs who give comfort to family members and emergency workers. <br />
  28. 28. As of October 9, more than 5.8 million meals and snacks have been served to residents and emergency workers at Red Cross sites. <br />
  29. 29. Two Respite Centers near the World Trade Center site provide firefighters, police and recovery workers with comfort and care around the clock.<br />
  30. 30. Nearly 25,000 volunteers and employees from the New York area and Red Cross chapters all over the country have been involved in the relief effort. And that number grows every day. <br />