PHOENIX (Jan. 2, 2013) – The American Red Cross spent much of 2012 helping people across the country whose lives were impacted by disasters, including here in Arizona. Between Jan. 1 and Dec. 1, relief efforts were launched in response to 113 large-scale disasters in 42 states and territories.
Hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, floods and the spring derecho were some of the emergencies that prompted Red Cross response. And the Red Cross was there after tragic shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. From Alaska to Florida, from the East Coast to the West Coast, few regions didn’t require Red Cross assistance. The Red Cross opened 907 shelters in the U.S. and provided 109,300 overnight stays for people forced from their homes by disasters. In total, 29,800 Red Cross workers served 9.9 million meals and snacks and distributed 6.8 million relief items. Red Cross health services and mental health workers offered 141,100 consultations in aiding people on the road to recovery.
“Hurricane Sandy dominated the news coverage, but it wasn’t the only disaster that disrupted lives in 2012,” said Dan Curtiss, the Emergency Services Director for the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Red Cross. “The number of lives affected by large disasters in the past year was simply staggering. The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 home fires every year – that’s one home fire every nine minutes. Whether the disaster is a hurricane or a fire in someone’s house, the Red Cross is there.”
Thanks to the public’s generous support, the Red Cross has provided food, shelter, relief supplies and comfort to thousands of people impacted by Sandy, and it’s currently working with government and community partners as part of a comprehensive response to help Sandy survivors recover. The Red Cross has served more than 9.2 million meals and snacks; distributed more than 6.7 million relief items; offered more than 105,000 health services and emotional support contacts; and provided more than 81,000 overnight stays. More than 16,200 Red Cross workers – 31 from the Grand Canyon Chapter – have backed the relief efforts, including more than 1,100 who are on the ground right now.
The Red Cross also collects about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply; trains 9 million people annually in first aid, water safety and other lifesaving skills; answers the call with international humanitarian aid; and gives 24-hour support to service members, veterans and their families – in war zones, in military hospitals and on military installations around the world. To donate to the Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org/donate, call 1-800-733-2767, text “REDCROSS” to 90999 (for a $10 gift) or write to the Grand Canyon Chapter at 6135 N. Black Canyon Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85015.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. It’s a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. The Grand Canyon Chapter, established in 1916, re-chartered in 1999 and expanded in 2003, ranks as the fifth-largest chapter nationally, serving the more than 5.1 million people in Apache, Coconino, Gila, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Navajo, Pinal, Yavapai and Yuma counties. For more information on the Grand Canyon Chapter, please visit www.arizonaredcross.org, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/redcrossgcc or follow us on Twitter under the handle @RedCrossGCC.