The American Red Cross remains in Puerto Rico, supporting people impacted by the recent series of earthquakes.
Thousands of people remain in the government-run shelters while thousands more continue to stay outdoors for fear of another quake destroying more buildings. This uncertainty makes them fearful to even return home, for those whose homes are still intact. The repeated quakes are traumatic, and many of the communities are still recovering from Hurricanes Maria and Irma.
More than 250 Red Cross disaster workers are on the scene, supporting the government shelters and helping to care for vulnerable populations such as the elderly and children. Red Cross workers are also going neighborhood by neighborhood to give out emergency supplies, including hygiene kits and comfort items, and sharing preparedness information. As part of the door to door outreach, these Red Cross teams are also checking on the health and wellbeing of residents including checking blood pressure, providing emotional support and sharing coping and safety information. All of these services are part of the help people need while they begin to plan their next steps.
The Red Cross has already:
Distributed more than 31,000 relief supplies
Provided more than 6,500 integrated disaster care services to provide health and mental health services, as well as comfort and spiritual care.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
You can help people affected by the Puerto Rico Earthquakes by texting the word EARTHQUAKES to 90999 to make a $10 donation or indicating this disaster on the donation form on redcross.org, and printing and mailing to your local Red Cross chapter. The Red Cross honors donor intent, and all designated funds will be used to support the affected communities in Puerto Rico through emergency relief, recovery and preparedness efforts.
STEPS TO HELP COPE
People may experience a variety of feelings and thoughts after something like the earthquakes in Puerto Rico, especially since many are still working to recover from 2017’s devastating hurricanes. The Red Cross has information people can use to cope in the aftermath of this tragedy.
Something like this is upsetting for everyone involved. People near the emergency are affected, as well as people all over the country who may have family in the area, or people who are watching the media coverage of this situation.
Children are especially at risk as they may become afraid that the event will happen again, or that they or someone in their family may be injured or killed. The situation is difficult for them to understand. It is important to reassure children and talk to them in a calm manner. Their view of the world as a safe and predictable place is temporarily lost. How a parent or other adult reacts around the child following a traumatic event can determine how quickly and completely the child recovers.
People may be experiencing many different emotions like fear, anger, confusion, shock, disbelief, sadness and grief. These are all normal feelings after this type of event.
People’s reactions appear in different ways, not only in the way someone feels, but how they think and what they think about; their sleeping habits, how they go about daily living; and the way they interact and get along with others. Here are a few steps to help people cope:
Stay informed, but limit exposure to media coverage of the events. Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, drink plenty of water and get enough rest. Be patient with yourself and others. It’s common to have any number of temporary stress reactions such as anger, frustration and anxiety. Stay connected with your family and other support systems. Reach out and accept help from others. Encourage children: to express their feelings and thoughts. Reassure them about their safety.
To reach out for free 24/7 counseling or support, contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs’ to 66746.
EARTHQUAKE SAFETY You can find valuable information on how to be safe before, during and after an earthquake here.
RECONNECT WITH LOVED ONES The Red Cross has two easy ways to help people reconnect. The Red Cross Emergency App features an “I’m Safe” button that allows users to post a message to their social accounts to let friends and family know that they are out of harm’s way. The Red Cross also offers the Safe and Well website, safeandwell.org, which is a private and more secure option. It allows people to list their own status by customizing a message for their loved ones or selecting pre-scripted messages.
CORPORATIONS HELP The generous donations from members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and the Disaster Responder Program enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters big and small, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur and help families during the recovery process.
ADGP $1 Million members are: Amazon; American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Anthem Foundation; Bank of America; Caterpillar Foundation; Costco Wholesale; Delta Air Lines; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; The Home Depot Foundation; Latter-day Saint Charities; Lilly Endowment Inc.; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; Mazda North American Operations; Microsoft Corp.; Nationwide Foundation; State Farm; VSP Global; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; The Walt Disney Company; and Wells Fargo.
ADGP $500,000 members are: Altria Group; Aon; Capital One; Cisco Foundation; Citi Foundation; The Clorox Company; CSX; Darden Foundation; Delta Dental Community Care Foundation; Discover; Edison International; Energy Transfer/Sunoco Foundation; Fidelity Charitable Trustees’ Initiative; Ford Motor Company; Fox Corporation; General Motors; Grainger; HCA Healthcare; Humble Bundle; IBM Corporation; International Paper; The J.M. Smucker Company; Johnson Controls Foundation; The Kroger Co. Foundation; LHC Group; Merck Foundation; Mondelēz International Foundation; New Balance Foundation; PepsiCo Foundation; Procter & Gamble; PwC Charitable Foundation; San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Sands Cares; Southwest Airlines; The Starbucks Foundation; Target; The TJX Companies, Inc.; Toyota; United Airlines; UPS; The USAA Foundation, Inc.; and The Wawa Foundation.
Disaster Responder Program members are: 7-Eleven Cares Foundation; Adobe; American Express; Assurant; AstraZeneca; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; Avangrid Foundation; The Ball Foundation; Barclays; BMW of North America; CarMax; Choice Hotels International; The Coca-Cola Company; The Coca-Cola Foundation; Consumer Cellular; Cox Enterprises; DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation; Dominion Energy; Duke Energy; Duke Realty; Equitable; Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation; Harbor Freight Tools Foundation, LLC; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation; HP Foundation; Ingersoll Rand Foundation; John Deere Foundation; The Kraft Heinz Company Foundation; Lenovo; Liberty Mutual Insurance; Mastercard; Medtronic Foundation; Neiman Marcus Group; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; Old Dominion Freight Line; The Pfizer Foundation; Prudential Financial; Rodan + Fields Prescription for Change Foundation; Ryder System, Inc.; Security Finance’s Lending Hand Foundation; Southeastern Grocers Home of BI-LO Harveys Winn Dixie; Tata Consultancy Services; TD Ameritrade; U-Haul International; United Technologies Corporation; U.S. Bank; and Visa.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.