In September, Hurricane Irma carved a trail of destruction across the Caribbean, devastating the U.S. Virgin Islands before moving on to strike Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland. Irma’s high winds and storm surge battered Florida communities from the Keys to Jacksonville, and brought flooding and wind damage to five other southeastern states. Three months later, the American Red Cross continues to support relief and recovery for hurricane survivors.
Amid a massive response to Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, the Red Cross again mobilized resources and trained disaster workers from all over the country to help residents impacted by Irma—the second catastrophic hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. in less than a month. We joined local volunteers and our disaster partners to shelter people who were forced from their homes; provided evacuees with food, relief supplies and basic health services; and gave comfort to individuals and families coping with heartbreaking losses and an uncertain future.
Powered by generous donors, these tireless efforts brought hope to people like Cherie and Jimmy, who stayed at a Red Cross shelter after Hurricane Irma severely damaged their home in Sebring, Florida. With their home’s roof open to the elements and Jimmy recently out of surgery, Cherie called the Red Cross to find a place to stay. “They said, ‘Come on,’” Cherie recalled. “They were great; they were wonderful.” At the shelter, Jimmy, who is 82, was cared for by Red Cross volunteers.
Thanks to our compassionate donors, the Red Cross has raised $89 million, including the value of critical donated goods and services, to help people impacted by Hurricane Irma. As of December 10, 2017, the Red Cross had already spent or made commitments to spend approximately $42.5 million on emergency relief and recovery efforts for people affected by Hurricane Irma. We are working on plans for the remaining funds, which will be used to provide and support services for both individual and community long-term recovery.
While we will continue to accept donations designated to Hurricane Irma, the Red Cross has ceased active fundraising for Hurricane Irma and removed the Hurricane Irma donation option from all fundraising channels. People who wish to support Irma relief efforts—or any specific cause—can always do so by using the downloadable donation form on redcross.org.