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Well the American Red Cross is now defending their response to super storm sandy after many frustrated victims slammed the volunteer organization.
The Red Cross says quote I think that we are near flawless so far in this operation.
I know that there are people who have absolutely lost everything they are cold they are frightened.
They're saying where is the American red cross and I'm totally supportive of that I understand -- cry for help.
But we are out there according to the head of the red cross and we spoke with your last week -- the Red Cross has 32 shelters open.
Housing more than 3200.
There are more than 5700.
Disaster workers on the ground across the East Coast serving up more than five million meals and snacks as well as distributing nearly one million.
Other relief items so let's talk about this a bit this morning with Laura how she's -- vice president.
A public relations at the American Red Cross Laura welcome good to have you here this morning thank you.
You know obviously you guys have as a lot of folks out there on the ground but -- -- the criticism began early.
You know I look at this quote from Borough president -- -- on -- -- New Yorkers say do not donate to the Red Cross.
He said at this stage their response is an absolute disgrace.
In terms of the emergency response what do you what do you say to that criticism.
Well we understand that people are frustrated I mean if if if I had been without power for two weeks at a time.
I think I'd be frustrated as well so we certainly understand that has this been a perfect relief operation no it hasn't but we do as you -- Said earlier have nearly 6000 Red Cross volunteers on the ground.
And those people are doing some -- really good work every day they're leaving their homes.
They're leaving their families they're leaving their businesses to go help their neighbors on the East Coast and I think that's what's really important here.
Is that we have a lot of volunteers.
Doing some really -- heroic work.
I think it is very important what you just pointed out and -- -- -- -- remember that these are volunteers.
And they are out there to help and we just some really nice.
Piece that was put together right after seagull.
About an -- hop icon New Jersey where he gave you guys very high marks for the work that you're doing.
On the other hand -- you know you look at this area Staten Island where people have been so hard head.
And parts of Brooklyn and we have a -- that we this sort of following through this process we had -- back on yesterday and here's what he sat.
This is what they give you -- called a packed meals.
I've done cooking and worked in pizzeria is in restaurants for some time in my life and I had a problem -- in -- -- He claims that the food was hard to cook he also said that them colonel box -- they were given -- Molina batteries didn't work.
You know what what do you say is that.
Well first I would say that the meals he's pointing out or just your sort of one of the meals that that we're giving out to people.
So we have a lot of trucks we've got more than 300 trucks that are driving through.
Neighborhoods on Staten Island in Brooklyn the -- -- some of those most hardest hit areas the distributing fresh hot meals we have kitchens.
All over the area where we're partnering.
With other groups -- to cook good hot food and so that's just one part of the relief puzzle for us you know I would say this too.
Are we have every single neighborhood that we want to be -- noble we are everywhere we can be.
Given the resources that we have so we want people to know that we hear their cries for help.
And most people that we encounter are are very grateful and very thankful for the help again given by all of these many volunteers.
Who are giving their time and giving of themselves on the East Coast -- what would you tell people who'd.
Donate to the Red Cross about whether or not their money if they wanted to go to hurricane sandy can they designate it.
You know as much of that dollar as is humanly possible with your overhead costs and I think -- about 91 cents on the dire which is a pretty good ratio.
Can they send it directly to sandy victims.
Absolutely you know if donors tell us they want their money to be used for sandy were absolutely going to honor that.
And you're absolutely right 91 cents of every dollar does go directly to the victims we have to keep the lights on -- we -- some overhead costs and we hope people understand that.
But if people want their money to go -- sandy relief.
We're definitely going to honor that in those ways that people have been giving through telethon -- donation programs at their local.
He stores and grocery stores that kind of money we know people intend to go -- sandy relief.
And -- absolutely going to use it for the -- Why nothing gets some hot food apps that neighborhood to our Christian -- -- -- says he would probably really.
Appreciate it and I -- -- you do what you can't and a lot of volunteers are doing great work -- thank you for being with us today we do appreciate it.
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