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Disaster Relief

All day, every day, wherever someone needs us.

We respond to an emergency every 8 minutes
No one else does this: not the government, not other charities. From small house fires to multi-state natural disasters, the American Red Cross goes wherever we’re needed, so people can have clean water, safe shelter and hot meals when they need them most.

Bringing Help & Hope

Disaster relief by the numbers

Average of 91 Cents of Every Dollar Spent Invested in Humanitarian Services and Programs

Relief efforts that achieve results

Home Fires: Meeting the Biggest Disaster Threat to American Families

Here to Help

Each disaster is different but we adapt our resources to the needs of the people we serve.
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Overnight Shelter Stays

The Red Cross opens shelters to make sure people have a safe place to stay, a hot meal and access to other support from trained volunteers. Every night a person stays in a shelter counts as one overnight stay; for example, a family of four staying in a shelter for three nights would total 12 overnight stays.


Distribution of Emergency Supplies

Emergency supplies help people in the immediate aftermath of a disaster and in the days and weeks that follow. Our comfort kits contain basic personal supplies needed in the aftermath of a disaster, such as a toothbrush, deodorant and shampoo. Other emergency supplies could include tarps, rakes, shovels, and trash bags to help people clean up their homes and return to normalcy. Emergency supplies can be handed out at convenient distribution centers or from an emergency response vehicle in affected areas.

Volunteer helps child

Health & Mental Health Contacts

Red Cross health and mental health volunteers travel to disaster sites to help people cope. Health workers can provide first aid treatment for injuries, monitor the well-being of people staying in Red Cross shelters, and replace prescription medications or eyeglasses. Other workers specialize in providing emotional support and helping people to cope after a disaster.

Woman stands with packed items

Meals and Snacks

After a disaster, the Red Cross works with community partners to provide hot meals, snacks and water served as shelters or from Red Cross emergency response vehicles in affected neighborhoods.

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Trained Red Cross volunteers and employees are ready to deploy within hours of a disaster to help. Ninety-five percent of our disaster workers are volunteers from across the country.

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Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs)

Mobile Response Vehicles, also known as ERVs, circulate throughout affected communities after disasters to hand out food, relief supplies, information, and comfort to those in need.

Donate Now to Disaster Relief

Help people affected by disasters big and small.

$10.00 is the minimum online donation amount. All donations are tax deductible.