2013 Year End: Behind the Numbers: Mobilizing Responses for Big Disasters

info graph 2013

The Red Cross disaster responses across the country in 2013 included:

  • 16,700 workers—many of them volunteers—providing care, comfort and support to those in need.
  • 89,000 contacts by specially trained workers with disaster victims who needed mental health support or health services, which is more people than the amount of travelers who pass through Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on an average day.
  • 1.8 million meals and snacks, the equivalent of feeding the entire population of Philadelphia lunch in a day.
  • 29,000 overnight stays in shelters for people forced from their homes by disasters, enough to fill the largest hotel in New York City for more than two weeks.
  • 1 million relief items distributed, including more than 33,700 toothbrushes.
  • $74 million to more than 60 nonprofit partners to help people and communities recover from Superstorm Sandy.

Flooding

In April, flooding struck 10,000 homes in 10 counties in Illinois. More than a thousand Red Cross volunteers provided shelter and food to displaced families and delivered relief supplies to those returning to waterlogged homes. In September, almost a half-year’s worth of rain fell in just three days across several counties in and around Boulder, Colo. Red Crossers responded and served more than 204,000 meals and snacks, handed out more than 249,000 relief items and provided about 15,000 health and mental health contacts. The Red Cross also provided a total of 3,800 shelter stays for people forced from their homes by the flooding.

Tornadoes and Severe Storms

The largest and most deadly tornado outbreak in 2013 came in Oklahoma in May, when a series of tornadoes ripped through the state, and Red Cross workers were there to comfort the survivors, including the community of Moore, Okla., where two elementary schools were struck by a deadly EF-4 tornado. More than six months later, the Red Cross continues to help residents through long-term recovery centers and other community programs.

In addition, Mississippi was hit particularly hard by severe spring storms for the third year in a row, including a tornado that severely damaged the Red Cross building in Hattiesburg in February. Again in April, the Red Cross was there, opening shelters, providing food and water, and helping survivors recover. In November, dozens of tornadoes cut a path of destruction through the Midwest, damaging more than 1,000 homes and leaving hundreds of thousands without power during a cold snap.

Wildfires

When wildfires threatened communities, the Red Cross offered evacuees a safe place to stay and supported first responders. In total, the Red Cross mobilized more than 2,000 workers to support 10 large wildfire responses in eight states during 2013, such as Colorado, Arizona, California and New Mexico.

Home Fires

It’s not just the high-profile disasters that left thousands of people in need this year. The Red Cross also responded to more than 52,000 home fires across America, helping 226,000 people get back on their feet. For those who have suffered a home fire, the event can be just as devastating as the high profile disasters that get a large amount of national attention. Regardless of the size of the event, the Red Cross responds in the same way—with shelter, food and emotional support.

International Disasters

In 2013, the American Red Cross assisted an estimated 1.3 million people affected by disasters in 24 countries outside of the U.S. These included storms and floods in the Philippines, Argentina, Bangladesh and Nigeria. Red Cross workers continue to respond to the ongoing humanitarian need created by the civil unrest in Syria, as well as needs caused by conflicts in other areas around the world. The Red Cross responded to food insecurity issues in Malawi and Zimbabwe and continued our earthquake recovery work in Haiti that has been ongoing since 2010. Additionally, the Red Cross continued its vital work in reconnecting families separated by conflict and disaster, reconnecting 886 families this year alone.

For more on this year’s disasters, view the end-of-year infographic and video.

The work of the American Red Cross is made possible by donations. Donations can be made by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions can also be sent by mail to a local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross via P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

About our Holiday Partners:

During this holiday season, the American Red Cross is grateful for the support of our corporate partners that generously contribute to our Holiday Giving Campaign. They include: Circle K and its customers in the West and Florida divisions, Community Safety Foundation, funded by CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA Insurer, Mazda and its Dealers nationwide and University of Phoenix. Thanks to the generosity of these and other sponsors, the Red Cross is able to carry out its mission of helping people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies everyday here and around the world. Each holiday season the Red Cross gives everyone the chance to support our work by giving blood, signing a card for military heroes or buying a gift through our holiday catalog. To support the Red Cross this Holiday Season, visit redcross.org/holiday.

 

American Red Cross Had 137 Big U.S. Relief Operations in 46 States in Disaster-Filled 2011

At home and across the globe, Red Cross relief efforts large part of the scene.

WASHINGTON, Monday, December 19, 2011 — The American Red Cross helped hundreds of thousands of people whose lives were forever changed by disasters in 2011, from tornadoes, floods, wildfires and hurricanes in the U.S. to earthquakes and other disasters around the world.

Throughout the year, the American Red Cross supported the people of Japan and Haiti, while launching 137 domestic disaster relief operations in 46 states and territories to help people affected by fires, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes across the United States. In addition, major international disasters included theJapanearthquake and tsunami response and the continuing work following the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

“The number of lives affected by large disasters in the past year is simply staggering,” said Charley Shimanski, Senior Vice President for Red Cross Disaster Services. “Devastating tornadoes, flooding and wildfires wiped out entire neighborhoods. Through it all, the Red Cross, our partners, and communities nationwide responded, offering people shelter, food and comfort.”

In the United States, the Red Cross opened 1,019 shelters and provided more than 130,000 overnight stays. 27,622 trained disaster workers served more than 6.7 million meals and snacks and distributed more than 2.6 million relief items. Health and mental health workers provided more than 133,000 consultations and Red Cross workers opened 16,752 cases to help people get on the road to recovery.

 Tornadoes, flooding and wildfires ripped across the country

 State after state faced the powerful force of tornadoes in 2011. Devastating winds plowed through many neighborhoods, leaving destruction in their wake. Through it all, the Red Cross was on the scene, providing a safe place to stay, food to eat and supplies to help with the clean-up. The Red Cross helped people affected by large-scale tornadoes in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin in 2011.

A large part of the country – almost 20 states – was impacted by flooding in 2011. The Red Cross launched 27 relief operations related to flooding in Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Vermont.

Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee caused the need for relief operations in more than a dozen states.

Thousands of disaster workers were deployed and more than 250 Red Cross feeding trucks were sent into neighborhoods to distribute meals and clean-up supplies. In New York and New Jersey alone, the Red Cross provided almost 34,000 overnight stays in shelters and distributed more than 840,000 meals and snacks.

Wildfires consumed almost four million acres across the state of Texas, and destroyed thousands of acres in New Mexico, Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma. Again, the Red Cross stepped in to help in the fire-ravaged neighborhoods, providing a safe place to stay, food to eat and emotional support for those forced to leave their homes, as well as firefighters and first responders

Japan earthquake, tsunami changed people’s lives forever

In March, a powerful earthquake and resulting tsunami struck Japan, claiming more than 15,000 lives, as well as damaging and destroying buildings, roads and nuclear power plants. Hundreds of thousands of people were left homeless and lives were changed forever.

The Japanese Red Cross responded immediately, distributing food, emergency kits, blankets and supplies. Their medical teams provided health services, while other volunteers provided emotional support and social assistance.  More than 80,000 volunteers assisted in operating shelters, helped with clean-up efforts and provided care for the elderly.

Through the generosity of the American people and their donations, the American Red Cross continues to support recovery efforts through the Japanese Red Cross. These include improving living conditions in evacuation centers and temporary homes by providing appliance packages for families and winterizing structures against the cold. American Red Cross funds are also supporting the Japanese Red Cross in building a temporary hospital and rebuilding a Red Cross nursing school dedicated to training specialists in disaster medical care. Additional American Red Cross support will improve the disaster response capacity of the Japanese Red Cross.

The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to assist people affected by disasters. If you would like to help, please consider making a donation today by visiting http://www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross,P.O. Box   37243,Washington,DC20013.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

Northeast WI Year End Wrap

By Guest Blogger Steve Hansen, Regional Chapter Executive  

There isn’t a household in America that hasn’t benefited from the life-saving mission of the American Red Cross. Together, we prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies through a network of dedicated volunteers, community partners, staff and donors alike. We thank you all! 

Did you know our volunteers are called into action nearly every-other day in Northeast WI? Around the clock, our staff and trained volunteers provide the basic need services to help individuals and families weather any storm. Residential fires are the most common (90%) of our responses. Additionally, we experienced several multi-county floods and deployed individuals across the nation through our mutual aid system. Through thick and thin, all disaster assistance is free just when people need a little help the most. This support is made possible through the generosity the American people.

This year, we supported more than 1,630 military families through emergency messages, and pre-deployment briefings. Plus, we expanded our work with Veterans at the Oscar G. Johnson Hospital and Outreach Clinics in Iron Mountain, MI and the King Facility in Waupaca, WI. This includes the distribution of over 5,000 personal greeting cards through our Holiday Mail for Heroes program.   

Our health & safety training spans from youth to senior education. With more than 45,000 trained annually in life-saving skills, we have saved countless lives. A few hours in a classroom or on-line could mean the difference between life and death. We urge you to make a New Years resolution to be Red Cross Ready in the coming months.

Every two seconds someone in the USA needs the gift of life. In Northeast WI, Red Cross volunteers donated over 38,000 units of blood in 2010; selflessly giving so much to someone they may never know. We’re proud to provide nearly half the nation’s blood supply.

The American Red Cross is a dynamic organization that has served the country since 1881. Today, each of our volunteers has their own story and reason for giving back. It’s our honor to call them our partners and brand ambassadors. Together, we roll up our sleeves, open our hearts and jump-in to change lives.

Seasons Greetings!

Steve Hansen

 P.S. A comprehensive Northeast WI Regional Report to the Community is available at www.newredcross.org. It contains additional details, stories, photos and more.

Northeast WI Region Announces Year End Results

There isn’t a household in America that hasn’t benefited from the life-saving mission of the American Red Cross to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. This is the reason why we are thrilled to present our second Northeast WI Regional Report to the Community.

This past year, we have grown significantly as a Region. We have streamlined operations, implemented our strategic plan and are planning individual Chapter and regional growth to serve the Northeast WI Region including the Michigan border communities even better.

You no doubt-ably know we provide emergency assistance. But did you know our volunteer teams are called into action more than every-other day? Around the clock, our trained volunteers provide the basic need services to help individuals and families weather the storm. More than 90% of our emergency responses are for residential fires. Sadly, most could be prevented. However, through thick and thin, all our disaster assistance is free just when people need a little help the most.

We supported more than 2,500 military families through emergency messages, transportation, and pre-deployment briefings. In addition, our work at the Oscar G. Johnson Hospital and Outreach Clinics in Iron Mountain, MI along with The King Facility in Waupaca, WI is year-round and expanding thanks to continued grant funding and our dedication to support Veterans and their families.

Our Health & Safety training spans from youth to senior education. With more than 44,000 trained in life-saving skills, we have saved countless lives. Our work isn’t over, kids still drown, not every business has individuals certified in life-saving skills, nor does every household. Our goals are high. A few hours in a class could mean the difference between life and death. You will learn more about being Red Cross Ready in the coming months.

Building upon our nursing tradition, we are now offering Nursing Assistant Training at two Chapters. We’re thrilled to teach, certify and license the current and next generation of health-care providers.

Our community programs are unsung heroes. These programs focus on un-met needs within individual communities. For example:

• Lakeland Chapter provided nearly 67,000 rides to for those 60+ or with a disability to get to needed medical, employment and other appointments.
• Neenah-Menasha Chapter provides an emergency food pantry.
• Outagamie Chapter Shopping & Errands program helps senior, homebound and/or disabled with services so they can remain in their home.
• East Central WI Chapter administers the Bridges program to support heating, rental and emergency funding for residents, transportation, Senior Friends and a medical equipment loan program to more than 10,000 clients. With tough economic times, the demand is unparallel, the stories are sobering and the need is great.

Every two seconds someone in the USA needs the gift of life. By collecting 34,549 units of blood, our supporters saved thousands of lives. This easy self-less act, gives so much to someone you may never know. We’re proud to provide nearly half the nations blood supply.

The American Red Cross is a dynamic organization that has served the country since 1881. With this being said, it’s amazing to learn that much of what is accomplished 24/7/365 is done by countless volunteers whom donate time, energy and knowledge. Each volunteer has their own story, their reason for giving back. It’s our honor to call them our partners and brand ambassadors.

We are proud of our story and we can’t wait to share more of it with you. We welcome your questions, comments and can provide additional details, photograph and welcome a whole gamut of story-lines and interview options. We welcome your call at 920-642-0404 or e-mail at Barbara@ecw-redcross.org as does each Chapter Executive.

Happy New Year!