As the storm clouds clear and the rain subsides, communities across the Caribbean, United States and Canada are assessing the damage and preparing for life after Hurricane Sandy.
Since the onset of Sandy as a tropical storm, Red Cross Volunteers and staff have been working around the clock, in all the affected countries, conducting damage and needs assessments and providing emergency relief to the affected communities.
The 1,000-mile-wide storm, caused death and devastation as it tore a path through the Caribbean, North-East America and then up through Canada.
In Cuba, 75,000 people remain homeless and are staying with relatives, friends, and in Red Cross shelters.
In Jamaica it is estimated that 50% of homes, in Portland, have been affected, with nearly 1,500 people staying in 130 Red Cross shelters.
Many areas of the Dominican Republic remain inaccessible other than by Helicopter. It is estimated that 11,000 people are sheltering with family, friends and in communal shelters. Red Cross teams are continuing their tireless efforts to reach those communities cut off by the storm and to assist those that have been reached already.
In Haiti 15,000 homes were damaged or destroyed and more than 6,000 people remain in shelters. The vulnerability of communities affected by the 2012 earthquake remains high. Hundreds of thousands of people remain under tarpaulins and tents. Since the earthquake, the Red Cross Movement has helped to re-house tens of thousands of people, but Haiti still has a hugely vulnerable camp population who have had to face the deluge brought by Sandy under canvas.
10 states across America are receiving assistance from Red Cross volunteers and staff after flooding, high winds and fires destroyed homes and flattened communities. As power outages remain a concern – the Red Cross is coordinating mass distribution of hot meals. At the peak of the storm 14,000 people stayed overnight in more than 300 Red Cross Shelters.
Canada experienced power outages, localised flooding with Red Cross teams responding to two communities that requested their assistance.
In all communities affected by Hurricane Sandy, the Red Cross remains committed to providing emergency assistance as well as assisting those affected to recover from the devastating effects of the storm.
Photo: courtesy IFRC. In Cuba over 75,000 people have been left homeless following Hurricane Sandy. Families require the most immediate aid.