Emergency Services

  • red cross volunteer examines house after fire in philadelphia
     

When disaster strikes, the American Red Cross provides shelter, food, clothing, and health and mental health services to address basic human needs. The core of Red Cross disaster relief is the assistance given to individuals and families affected by disaster to enable them to resume their normal independent lives.

Our chapter provides disaster relief assistance to individuals and families affected by natural and manmade disasters in Chester, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and most of Bucks and Delaware Counties.

To inquire about the chapter’s disaster relief services, contact Leo Pratte, Regional Emergency Services Director, at (215) 299-4822 or via email.

To reach our emergency operations center, staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, dial (215) 299-4889.


Services are provided in the following areas:

Mass Care

The Red Cross provides for the immediate emergency needs of disaster victims and/or emergency workers in large disaster-affected areas. This includes sheltering, feeding and/or direct distribution of relief supplies.

Shelters may be opened in anticipation of a disaster, during an evacuation or after a disaster occurs. Shelters are intended as a safe haven from impending disaster and/or short-term emergency housing until disaster victims can return to their homes or locate alternate housing after a disaster.

Mass feeding provides regular meals in shelters and other appropriate food and snacks for victims and workers in the affected areas.

Disaster relief items, such as clean-up kits, comfort kits, food, water, ice, fuels and other items related to disaster relief and recovery may be distributed by Red Cross staff and volunteers.

The Red Cross provides for the immediate emergency needs of disaster victims and/or emergency workers in large disaster-affected areas. This includes sheltering, feeding and/or direct distribution of relief supplies.

Shelters may be opened in anticipation of a disaster, during an evacuation or after a disaster occurs. Shelters are intended as a safe haven from impending disaster and/or short-term emergency housing until disaster victims can return to their homes or locate alternate housing after a disaster.

Mass feeding provides regular meals in shelters and other appropriate food and snacks for victims and workers in the affected areas.

Disaster relief items, such as clean-up kits, comfort kits, food, water, ice, fuels and other items related to disaster relief and recovery may be distributed by Red Cross staff and volunteers.

Family Services

Red Cross Family Service caseworkers provide disaster assistance to help families purchase new clothing, eyeglasses, prescriptions, hotel stays, groceries, household goods or other items that were lost in the disaster. No repayment or reimbursement for any assistance provided is ever sought or accepted from disaster victims.

We also provide referrals to other agencies that may be able to assist disaster victims, including community-based and government agencies. The chapter works with a number of community-based and government agencies to identify resources available to help those who need assistance with housing and other post-disaster needs.

Disaster Mental Health Services

The Region has a corps of trained, licensed mental health workers who provide emergency and preventative mental health services to disaster victims and workers. We supplement the community’s existing mental health care delivery systems by providing brief counseling to disaster victims in Red Cross service delivery facilities or other settings.

Disaster Health Serivces

The Region has a corps of trained nurses, paraprofessionals and other individuals with appropriate first aid training and experience who provide emergency and preventative health services to disaster victims and workers. The primary responsibility of the Red Cross disaster health service workers is to supplement the community’s existing health care delivery systems.

Family Safe and Well Inquiries

The Red Cross Family Safe and Well Inquiry system helps alleviate the anxiety of separation by connecting those affected by the disaster and their family members. We collect information from reliable sources and match the information against inquiries made by family members outside the disaster affected area. When matches are found, we help family members reconnect.

Spiritual Counseling

Lost things are easily replaced, but emotional and spiritual wounds caused by a traumatic event can be just as painful. To assist in healing all of the wounds caused by a disaster, the chapter has created Spiritual Care Teams to help victims deal with their tragedy not only on the physical level, but at the mental and spiritual levels as well.

International Services

As a part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, our chapter traces and reunites families displaced by conflict or natural disasters worldwide while also educating the public on International Humanitarian Law and International Relief & Development.