Washington As a massive hurricane bears down on the East Coast, the Red Cross is issuing an emergency plea for donations.
The Red Cross provides shelter, food and other aid after disasters, but the agency reported that its Disaster Relief Fund was nearly empty.
Alan McCurry, chief operating officer for the Red Cross, said the balance in the Disaster Relief Fund fluctuates as money comes in and is spent, but "if you're driving down the road and the gas gauge is bouncing off zero, then it's time to get some gas."
Donations can be made by calling (800) HELP-NOW, via the Internet at www.redcross.org, at Coinstar machines and at local Red Cross offices.
Officials said donations also could be mailed to the American Red Cross, P O. Box 37243, Washington D.C., 20013.