Disaster Types

  • The American Red Cross is helping families and businesses learn how to protect themselves and others from fires

Types of Emergency

We provide services for many uncontrollable disasters such as single family fires, natural disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, etc.) and toxic chemical spills. When a disaster strikes, the Red Cross responds immediately.
On average, in Mississippi, the American Red Cross responds to five home fires every day of the year. In our response, the Red Cross provides assistance to meet the ADD “immediate disaster-caused (delete: emergency) needs of those affected. The biggest disaster threat to families across our nation every day isn’t floods, hurricanes or tornadoes; it’s fire. On average, the American Red Cross responds to more than 63,000 fires each year. That’s about 170 responses a day or one every eight minutes. Home fires can strike quickly and without warning, devastating lives and property.

The Red Cross is committed to giving people the information they need to reduce their risk of home fires, and to helping people recover after a fire happens. At any time of day or night, trained Red Cross volunteers respond to the scene of fires to provide food, shelter, and emotional support to those affected.

Visit our special section on Fires

Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Conditions that cause floods include heavy or steady rain for several hours or days that saturate the ground. Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area. If it has been raining hard for several hours, or steadily raining for several days, be alert to the possibility of a flood. Listen to local radio or TV stations for flood information.

Visit our special section on Floods

Heat Waves
In recent years, excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather events, including floods. A heat wave is a prolonged period of excessive heat, often combined with excessive humidity. Generally temperatures are 10 degrees or more above the average high temperature for the region during summer months, last for a long period of time and occur with high humidity as well.

If a heat wave is predicted or happening… Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.

Visit our special section on Heat Waves

Prepare a personal evacuation plan. Identify ahead of time where you could go if you are told to evacuate. Choose several places–a friend’s home in another town, a motel, or a shelter.

Hurricanes are strong storms that cause life and property threatening hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds and tornadoes. Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane.

Visit our special section on Hurricanes

Prepare a home tornado plan. Pick a place where family members could gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered. A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm down to the ground. Tornado intensities are classified on the Fujita Scale with ratings between F0 (weakest) to F5 (strongest). They are capable of completely destroying well-made structures, uprooting trees and hurling objects through the air like deadly missiles. Although severe tornadoes are more common in the Plains States, tornadoes have been reported in every state.

Visit our special section on Tornadoes

Learn More

Click here for access to the Red Cross Disaster and Safety Library to assist you in preparing your home, school and workplace in the event of a disaster or emergency. Here you will find fact sheets, preparedness checklists, recovery guides and other helpful information to keep you informed and safe. Other types of emergencies inlcude chemical, flu, food safety, pet safety, highway safety, power outage, thuderstorm, water safety and more.