PHOENIX - Red Cross workers in the Valley are on standby to help Sandy victims, but in the meantime, they're asking for help from the community.
Superstorm Sandy has forced thousands of people from their homes on the East Coast. With nowhere to go, they're turning to the American Red Cross for shelter.
According to the Red Cross, 11,000 people slept in shelters Monday night and the need is growing.
Chapter Communications Officer Trudy Thompson Rice said Red Cross workers rely almost entirely on donations to do their jobs.
Donations buy food, water, supplies, clothing, and even toys for children. You can learn more about donating at arizonaredcross.org .
Rice said people in the Valley can also donate blood. She said there's a bigger need because hundreds of blood drives have been canceled on the East Coast due to the hurricane.
Brian Gomez, who's also with our local chapter, said now is a good time to prepare for a disaster.
He suggests getting an emergency bag together.
He said the bag should include obvious items like non-perishable foods, water, a flashlight and fresh batteries. But it should also include cash, a list of medications, emergency contacts and items specific to your family like pet food or diapers.
He said it's important to update your bag often and store it where it's easily accessible.
Here's a list of items he suggested:
--Flashlight with batteries fresh batteries storied separately
--Change of clothes
--Closed toe shoes
--Hand-crank radio with phone charging capabilities
--Extra phone cords and chargers
--Light weight tarp
--Copies of insurance cards
--Medications and list of prescriptions
--Emergency contact numbers
--Specialized products like pet food, diapers, baby formula and/or bottles
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