It’s been a busy few days and weeks for the American Red Cross, both here in Wisconsin and across the country. There have been a number of ongoing response and recovery efforts. Your partnership and support makes it possible for us to help the families and individual affected by each of these events.
The Red Cross continues to provide disaster relief to people across the country in California, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Flooding, tornadoes and strong storms tore have kept Red Cross workers and volunteers busy. Three Wisconsin disaster workers deployed to Butte, Yuba and Sutter counties in California working with state and volunteer partners to provide comfort and care to shelter over 2,200 residents. Another 4 disaster workers from Wisconsin were deployed to the tornado-ravaged areas of Mississippi in response to the string of severe storms that ripped through the South on January 21-22.
Home fires, however, remain the single most prevalent and most destructive disaster the Red Cross responds to. This year has gotten off to a very busy start for Wisconsin disaster teams. Since January 1, the Red Cross has responded to 131 fires across the state. As you can see on the map shown, these fires have happened in communities big and small – with responses in 43 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. Comparing against the same period last year, 20% more families have needed our help in 2017 as the Red Cross has provided comfort and assistance to 699 people, 213 of them children.
In each of these incidents, trained Red Cross Disaster Responders were on the scene, providing immediate support for affected families and individuals – such as food and clothing – while ensuring that they have the resources they need to get back on their feet. Generous support from those in the community allow the Red Cross to be there providing hope and comfort during these challenging times for all those affected.
Continuous support also ensures that communities are stronger and more resilient to home fires. To help prevent injuries and loss of life from home fires, the Red Cross launched a nationwide Home Fire Campaign in 2014. Together with local fire departments and community groups, they visit neighborhoods at high risk for home fires, educating people about fire safety through door-to-door visits and installing smoke alarms. There is still much work to do, but since the campaign began, 159 lives have been saved nationwide through these efforts.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Home Fire Campaign, protecting your loved ones and home from a fire, or how the Red Cross is making a difference in your community, visit www.redcross.com. Or if you would like to help people affected by disasters by making a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief please donate here.