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The Red Cross In Central Pennsylvania

  • burned house with fire truck and red cross disaster response vehicle out front in harrisburg

House Fires to Floods

We’re ready to respond to disaster 7 days a week, 365 days a year in our community, providing shelter, food, clothing and emotional support at no cost to those in need. The American Red Cross Serving Central Pennsylvania is part of a nationwide network of Red Cross chapters that work together to respond to large-scale relief efforts.

On average, the Central Pennsylvania Red Cross responds to a house fire every 19 hours.

Our volunteers help those affected by disaster by helping to meet their disaster-caused emergency needs, such as food, clothing, shelter and emotional support. All Red Cross disaster relief assistance is provided free of charge and is made possible by the contributions of time and financial donations from the American people.

Home fires are the most common disaster to which the Red Cross responds. On average, the Region responds to a house fire or other local disaster every 19 hours. Although these don’t typically make the news as hurricanes or other large-scale events do, they are devastating for those who have suddenly lost their homes, possessions and sense of security. During the past fiscal year, July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014, the Red Cross Serving Central Pennsylvania assisted 803 local families affected by fires and other local disasters.

Preparing for the Unexpected

The Red Cross continues to build on its reputation as a top provider of first aid, CPR/AED, water safety and other training by updating courses, providing instruction in new areas and using the latest technology to help the public be prepared for emergencies.

Every year, the Central Pennsylvania Region teaches people the lifesaving skills they need to protect themselves and their families, including first aid, CPR and water safety. We offer these trainings in multiple ways: online training, traditional classroom settings and full-service courses where we bring the training to your workplace or organization.

Last year, 38,505 individuals in central Pennsylvania learned critical skills through Red Cross Preparedness, Health and Safety Programs, including first aid/CPR/AED, caregiving, babysitting and water safety/aquatics.

The Red Cross is leading the way in using the emerging power of digital technology to get information to people at the right place and time, launching apps for iPhone and Android devices to aid during tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes and more.

  • 1,321,804 Central Pennsylvanians downloaded the new Red Cross Preparedness Apps, bringing safety information to their mobile phones, or used technology to access preparedness, health and safety training.
Preparing People and Communities
The Central Pennsylvania Region also teaches families, organizations and corporations how to be prepared for emergencies through free educational presentations. Last year 50,110 people attended community disaster education and preparedness programs throughout the Central Pennsylvania Region. Through the efforts of dedicated Americorps Members, the American Red Cross Serving Central Pennsylvania reached hundreds of senior citizens with specialized information about how disasters impact seniors and those with functional needs.

    Community Programs

  • In addition, we assisted with a variety of other outreach and education programs, reaching 4,513 people through community programs (e.g., senior assistance, youth programs).

Local Efforts, Global Reach

Red Cross responders at disaster site holding a baby

The American Red Cross is one of more than 180 Red Cross and Red Crescent societies based in nations around the world. Together, we help by alleviating human suffering wherever it is found. The Red Cross promotes cost-effective, community-based programs that target large numbers of people with humanitarian aid that is rapid, effective and large-scale. In addition to international disaster relief, we conduct family tracing programs to locate loved ones missing due to war, natural disaster or civil unrest. We also work with partners to prevent diseases through the distribution of educational materials, vaccinations and health supplies.

Among other international disasters during 2010-2011, nearly 370,000 people were affected when a major earthquake and tsunami struck Japan. Our local communities reached out a helping hand through the Red Cross.

In addition, eleven individuals with ties to Central PA were assisted through the Red Cross International Tracing Services.

Serving the Military, Their Families and Veterans

Red Cross woman speaking with two military service people about support services

The Central Pennsylvania Region gives support to active-duty military members, National Guard and Reserve members, veterans and their families. We deliver emergency messages, such as notification of an illness or death in the family, and provide pre-deployment briefings and connect families with needed resources when their loved ones are deployed. We also provide support for the sick and wounded at military and veterans’ hospitals and assistance in obtaining emergency financial support.

During FY14, the Central Pennsylvania Region provided services to 1,266 local military families, including emergency communications.

In addition, the American Red Cross serving Central Pennsylvania participated in the Holiday Mail for Heroes Program and, through the Region’s Totes of Hope Campaign, the Red Cross collected items for and assembled more than 200 Totes of Hope for the area’s homeless veterans.

Blood—Making Sure it’s Available

We supported the efforts of the American Red Cross Blood Services, which processes, tests and safeguards blood collected from nearly 8,000 donors in our local communities.

Responding to Community Needs

harrisburg family reunited by the red cross in central pennsylvania

Carrying on the Red Cross tradition of supporting quality nursing, the Red Cross located in Harrisburg conducts and oversees the Certified Nursing exams for the state of Pennsylvania and four other states. The chapter processed the applications for and certified over 30,000 nurse aides.