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About the American Red Cross in Arkansas

The American Red Cross in Arkansas serves just fewer than three million Arkansans plus more than 43,000 neighbors in Oklahoma.
The American Red Cross touches the life of an Arkansan every five minutes.

1,200 trained and dedicated volunteers stand ready to instruct residents of all ages in disaster education and to respond to the call for help anytime of the day or night, holidays or weekends.

Red Cross in Arkansas covers seventy three counties (Little River County is served by the Northeast Texas Region; Crittenden County by the Mid-South Chapter, Memphis), as well as Sequoyah County in eastern Oklahoma.

The American Red Cross touches the life of an Arkansan every five minutes through response to a residential fire, storm or other disaster; with health & safety instruction and the donation of the gift of blood; or the use of learned First Aid skills to prevent harm or save a life; or the connection of a loved one here to their family member in the military stateside or on the other side of the world.

We respond to 1,500 disasters each year- the majority residential fires-and teach more than 40,000 people across Arkansas annually in health, safety and disaster preparedness skills.


Since the first Arkansas Red Cross Chapter was established in 1917 in Hot Springs, our incredible volunteers have been a lifeline for Arkansans. From historic responses starting with the Great Flood of 1927, requiring three years of disaster relief to Arkansans, to mass feedings during the Great Depression in the 1930’s, Red Cross volunteers continue to lifesaving care for Arkansans.

Arkansas volunteers proudly lend caring hands to others across the country in need of care after weather related and man-made disasters, putting into action American Red Cross care down the street, across the country, around the world.


The history of the Arkansas Region parallels the calamities and disasters that have befallen the area. Hurricanes, floods, tornados, fires and the effects of war on local residents are backdrops to our story.

  • 2011
    April 15, 2011 - From ‘tax day’ through the middle of June, hundreds of Red Cross responders provided care and disaster relief to Arkansans affected by severe weather. Tornadoes and floods resulted in the death of more than 20 individuals. Numerous communities were damaged by several feet of displaced waterways. Floods caused the unprecedented closing of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and a stretch of Interstate 40 west, one of the country’s busiest transportation routes causing 110 mile detours.
  • 2010
    June 11, 2010 - Red Cross provides mental health support and disaster relief to families and emergency responders after a ‘perfect storm’ flash flood kills 20 campers from Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas at the Camp Albert Pike Campground, Ouachita National Forest in western Arkansas. The loss of life and search for victims captured international attention. The search for victims lasted five days.
  • 2008
    February 5, 2008 - More than one town was obliterated as EF-4 tornadoes traveled 123 miles from Atkins in central Arkansas to Gassville in Northeast Arkansas, killing 12 residents.
  • 2005
    August 27, 2005 - Response to Hurricane Katrina remains one the largest American Red Cross responses. More than 100 Red Cross emergency vehicles and crews deployed to Little Rock to be safely in position to continue to the affected states to provide care for Hurricane Katrina victims after the storm hit the Gulf Coast. Red Cross cared for thousands of evacuees relocated to Arkansas with emergency shelters and additional support for three months.
  • 1999
    June 1, 1999 - Arkansas Disaster Teams provide care and emotional support to surviving families after American Airlines Flight 1420 from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport crashed while attempting to land at the Little Rock National Airport. Eleven persons died as a result of the crash. This was the first Red Cross response per the National Transportation Safety Board naming the American Red Cross as lead for transportation accident family care and crisis intervention.
  • 1998
    March 24, 1998 - In response to the tragic 1988 shooting at Westside Middle School, Craighead County, where two students killed four classmates and a teacher, the American Red Cross of Greater Arkansas launched the first Rapid Response Training Camp, to empower students to respond to emergencies when adults may be unavailable to help. Since its debut, more than 300 high school students from across the state have been certified in advanced health and safety training and leadership skills at the free, weeklong residential camp. As a result of their experience, numerous students not only changed their post high school education to fields including medicine and emergency management, more than one used skills to help someone in need of first aid care.
  • 1997
    March 1, 1997 - Nine tornadoes crossed 260 miles from Hempstead County in southwest to Clay County in the northeast causing 26 deaths.