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Home Fires Top the List of Red Cross Responses in 2014

Red Cross Workers Help Their Neighbors in Washington State

During 2014, the American Red Cross helped more people affected by home fires than all other disasters combined. Day after day and in neighborhoods from coast to coast, our biggest disaster threat isn’t from tornadoes, hurricanes and floods, but home fires.

Check out a new infographic: “Home Fires: America’s Most Common Disaster.”

HOME FIRES BY THE NUMBERS Nearly every 8 minutes, the Red Cross responds to a disaster in the community and approximately 93 percent of these are home fires.

Local volunteers in 12,500 communities across the nation responded at all hours of the day with food, blankets and comfort to help more than 211,000 people with nowhere else to turn after home fires in 2014.

The Red Cross also provided financial support to tens of thousands of households after home fires to help replace lost belongings and begin the long road to recovery.

HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN Our work doesn’t end after the smoke clears. Red Cross volunteers across the country are helping to save lives through a nationwide campaign to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent over the next five years.

Since the campaign launched in October, we’ve already reached more than 29,000 people by installing more than 17,000 smoke alarms.

These efforts have already saved five lives and we hope this is only the beginning.

DISASTERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY In addition to home fires, the Red Cross responded to thousands of other disasters across the country this year. Despite no major hurricanes, we responded to several notable regional disasters.

  • On March 22, the town of Oso, Wash., was devastated by a massive mudslide. More than 500 trained Red Crossers provided comfort and hope along with serving 29,000 meals and snacks. We are still at work today as we help the affected communities continue to recover.
  • In late April, the Red Cross provided support to thousands of people across multiple states in the Southeast by opening shelters and handing out food and relief supplies.
  • From May through September, the Red Cross launched 10 response efforts to help thousands of people affected by western wildfires in Washington, California, Arizona and Oregon. Volunteers opened shelters, provided emotional support and replaced prescription medicines left behind.
  • In June, tornadoes struck the town of Pilger, Neb., and the Red Cross responded by opening shelters, serving nearly 27,000 meals and snacks, and handing out relief items.
  • On August 24, a 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck Napa, Calif., and the Red Cross responded with shelters, food, relief supplies and other support.
  • INTERNATIONAL DISASTERS In 2014, the American Red Cross assisted 5.5 million people affected by disasters in 30 countries outside of the U.S. This included:

  • The ongoing relief and recovery effort in the Philippines after 2013’s Typhoon Haiyan.
  • Nearly 10,000 families in the U.S. turning to the Red Cross to find loved ones missing internationally following armed conflicts and disasters.
  • Responses to the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa, flooding in the Balkans, and the humanitarian needs caused by the conflict in Iraq.
  • Earthquake recovery work in Haiti providing aid to 4.5 million Haitians.
  • WHERE YOU COME IN Our work is made possible by the generosity of the American public. You can help people affected by disasters big and small by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables us to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters.

    You can donate by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

    Your donation helps provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.

    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. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.