Red Cross is here to provide disaster relief all day, every day, wherever someone needs us. It is a vital part of our mission. We respond to an emergency every 8 minutes. No one else does this; not the government or any other charity in the United States. That’s over 65,000 disasters every year. These emergencies range from small house fires to multi-state national disasters. No matter what, we are here to help.
91 cents of every dollar spent is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross provides relief efforts through a variety of services. Red Cross workers deploy within hours of disaster striking and 95% of these responders are actually volunteers from around the country. These volunteers include health, mental health and spiritual care professionals which are vital at disaster sites. They provide first aid treatment, monitor people’s wellbeing, ensure everyone has their prescription medications and give emotional support for coping. The Red Cross also helps support emergency responders on site.
Overnight shelters provide a safe and dry place of protection for those displaced. People may come preemptively amidst hurricanes or to emergency shelters opened responsively after earthquakes. At these shelters, we can provide distribution of much needed items. We give out emergency supplies to help people both in the moment and over the long term. Comfort kits contain basic personal supplies such as toothbrushes and emergency kits include tools like shovels and trash bags. Emergency Response Vehicles may be deployed which can provide feeding in communities that may need it. We also provide meals, snacks and water, and other essential resources that people often do not have access to during disasters.
In addition to medical professionals, shelters and supplies, the Red Cross aids people and communities in recovery. We work with families to create a recovery plan which can include connecting people to needed community resources and organizations. We can also connect loved ones through our Safe and Well website. Whether for home fires, wildfires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes or tornadoes, the Red Cross is always ready to respond. Each disaster is different but we adapt our resources to the needs of the people we serve.
Written by Brady Schneider