The American Red Cross Greater Houston Area Chapter provides four main services: Disaster Relief and Preparedness, assistance for Military Personnel and their families, Health and Safety Courses and Transportation. In fact, the Red Cross has a Congressional mandate to provide disaster and military assistance, though it is an unfunded mandate. The Red Cross relies on financial donations and grants.
While most people think of the Red Cross helping during large disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike, our disaster services staff and volunteers are busy everyday responding to house and apartment fires, an average of two a day in the Houston area. For large and small disasters, the Red Cross meets the immediate needs of victims: shelter, food, bedding, clothing and sometimes essential medications and medical equipment. All Disaster Assistance is free. The Red Cross also provides disaster preparedness education to the community and businesses.
For military personnel, the Red Cross provides the emergency communication link between families and their loved ones in the military and arranges emergency leaves when needed. For military families in crisis, Red Cross facilitates emergency financial assistance and counseling.
The Chapter’s Health and Safety Department is the ‘teaching arm’ of the Red Cross. You or a family member may have taken a First Aid and CPR course or Red Cross Swim Lessons or Lifeguard Training. The Houston Chapter trains thousands of people every year to be safe and to save lives.
The Houston Chapter also offers low-cost, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Services to the elderly, disabled or chronically ill in several of our counties. It’s very difficult for people who can’t drive to get to doctor’s appointments or on-going medical treatments, such as dialysis or chemotherapy. Red Cross drivers are all First Aid and CPR trained and provide door-to-door service for their passengers.