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Charities Stepping Up To The Plate For Sandy Victims

Red Cross

President Barack Obama gives a statement about the Federal government’s response to superstorm Sandy at a Red Cross in Washington on Tuesday. (Credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Charitable organizations have mobilized workers and resources in the New York City area, in the wake of the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy.

The American Red Cross in Greater New York has been providing shelter for residents. On Monday night, more than 2,700 residents used Red Cross facilities for shelter in the metro area, and the number is expected to double, or even triple Tuesday night with power out and homes damaged and

The Red Cross advised Tuesday that New Yorkers should stay safe and only leave their homes if necessary, so as to keep the roads clear for first responders and cleanup crews. Anyone who does leave his or her home is advised to avoid flooded areas.

Those who seek refuge in shelters should bring items such as a pillow, a change of clothes, hygiene items and medications.

To find a shelter, go to RedCross.org or call (800) RED-CROSS.

The Red Cross is also looking for volunteers to staff shelters. Applicants must be over the age of 16, available for a 12-hour shift between Wednesday and Friday, able to lift and carry 50 pounds, and comfortable working with people in stressful situations.

Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to e-mail staffing@nyredcross.org.

The Salvation Army also has been providing services to those affected by Sandy. To date, the Salvation Army has responded in particular to some dramatic situations caused by Sandy in New Jersey.

For one example, while serving meals at a shelter in Union Beach, N.J., a Salvation Army canteen and a volunteer vehicle were flooded when waters rose unexpectedly. But the volunteers went on serving meals to stranded residents and first responders at the local police station.

And while shelters were at capacity in Atlantic County, the Salvation Army continued to serve meals and water to everyone taking refuge.

Due to Sandy, all blood drive and donor center operations in New York City have been cancelled for Tuesday, except for the Upper East Side Donor Center, located at 310 East 67th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues. That location is open until 8 p.m.

Officials said platelet and blood donors are needed immediately and no appointment is necessary.

For the latest information on donor center hours and cancellations, call 1-800-933-2566 or visit www.nybloodcenter.org.

Superstorm Sandy has left at least 12 people dead in New York City alone. The storm caused 13-foot services on the trees, downed trees, and knocked out power to thousands – including virtually all customers in Manhattan south of Midtown.

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“My message to the governors and the mayors, and through them, to the communities that have been hit so hard, is that we are going to do everything we can to get resources to you and make sure that any unmet need is identified, we are responding to it as quickly as possible,” he said.

He also urged neighbors to look out for each other.

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