Volunteer works in shelter

People Helping Other People

When more than 4 million people needed help following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005, millions of people, foundations and corporations rose to the occasion and helped through the American Red Cross.

In the immediate aftermath of the storms, the Red Cross and its partners provided:

After the initial phase of the emergency response ended, the long-term work of helping devastated families and communities began. The Red Cross created the Hurricane Recovery Program to address the long-term needs of survivors.

What We Accomplished...Together

With the help of partners, donors and volunteers, the Hurricane Recovery Program was able to help tens of thousands of individuals and families who needed help over the longer term.

Emotional support and behavioral health initiatives enabled approximately 187,500 individuals to enroll in personalized local mental health services. Additionally, more than 200 community organizations received funding to provide recovery-related services.

Case management services provided more than 13,200 households with services such as assistance in developing personal recovery plans and obtaining local recovery information, access to partner resources and direct financial assistance toward home or employment-related recovery.

Partnerships also played a pivotal role in the Hurricane Recovery Program, with more than 3,400 documented partnerships and outreach activities with nonprofit, local, state, governmental and faith-based organizations nationwide. Additionally, nearly 75 long-term recovery committees across the country collaborated with the Hurricane Recovery Program to ultimately provide more than $110 million in varied assistance within local communities.

Stories of Grief and Hope

The numbers are huge, but the stories of hurricane recovery are best told one person at a time. We invite you to get to know some of the people served by the Red Cross through these videos:

Where Your Donations Were Spent

It is through the continuous generosity of our donors that the Red Cross was able to provide crucial emergency assistance in the immediate aftermath of each storm, as well as long-term support through programs such as the Hurricane Recovery Program.

Funds Raised: approximately $2.188 billion

Expenses (in millions):

Expenses Total (as of 6/30/11): $2,181

The approximately $7 million dollars remaining will be used to continue helping survivors through Red Cross services.

For further details, please download our publications from the 5 year anniversary of Katrina:

Lessons for the Future

Looking back on Katrina reminds us that the unthinkable really can happen. But we can all do our part to get our homes, communities and nation ready.

Businesses, schools, and organizations should have proper safety and emergency supplies, continuity of operations plans, staff trained in CPR and First Aid, and employees who are prepared at home so they can return to work soon after an emergency.

Families need a plan for how they will deal with disasters most likely for their area, a kit of materials and supplies for the needs of each person, and a way to be informed before, during and after a disaster. Someone in each family should be trained in CPR and First Aid.