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September 07, 2017

Here's how the Red Cross is spending your money to help victims of Hurricane Harvey

Even as powerful Hurricane Irma bears down on the United States, the American Red Cross says it continues to help people impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

The Eastern Pennsylvania Region of the disaster relief agency has 63 disaster workers and three emergency response vehicles in Texas, according to Dave Skutnick, its regional director of communications. In addition, seven senior staff workers have been pre-deployed to South Carolina ahead of Hurricane Irma.

RELATED STORY: Cannoli queen of South Jersey scrambles to get out of Irma's path

With Irma expected to have impact in Florida and the Southeast as early as Friday, the Red Cross is mobilizing volunteers and relief supplies and identifying dozens of facilities as potential evacuation shelters. The agency is preparing supplies and resources to shelter at least 120,000 evacuees by the weekend.

In Texas and Louisiana, the flooding continues. As more streets and highways are cleared, the Red Cross is expanding the distribution of food and relief supplies into more communities.

Here is how the Red Cross says it is using the donations of millions of Americans to help Harvey victims:

• Donations pay for Red Cross shelters and the volunteers who are supporting them. As of Monday night, more than 32,000 people sought refuge in 192 Red Cross and partner shelters across Texas. The Red Cross is also assisting the Louisiana state government with emergency shelters which hosted more than 1,000 people last night.

• Donations pay to transport and support more than 3,100 Red Cross disaster workers that are on the ground in Texas, with an additional 420 on the way. There are also more than 200 people helping in Louisiana.

• Donations pay for the more than 807,000 meals and snacks already served in Texas, with the help of partners. An additional 33,000 served in Louisiana. 

• Donations pay for the gas and equipment to power feeding efforts. Trailers of kitchen supplies are on the ground to support 16 kitchens, each able to produce 10,000 meals a day.

• Donations pay for the more than 215 emergency response vehicles activated to help deliver meals and relief supplies.

• Donations pay to support the mental health and health services professionals who support and care for evacuees – some 26,000 contacts have been made.

• Donations pay for relief items like diapers and comfort kits that contain deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other hygiene items for people forced from their homes – 36,000 have been distributed so far and this number will grow as people are able to return home.

• More than 23 million hurricane and flood alerts have been issued through Red Cross mobile apps since August 23, well surpassing the 6 million issued for Superstorm Sandy. The apps provide shelter locations and real-time information so people can help protect themselves and their loved-ones.