The American Red Cross responds to about 70,000 disasters every year.
Most people hear about the large disasters that affect an entire part of the country, emergencies like the wildfires out west and flooding throughout the Midwest. But not as well known are disasters like a home fire, a personal tragedy that can leave someone with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
The American Red Cross recently responded to a large 48-unit apartment complex fire in Levittown, a suburb of Philadelphia. Red Cross workers provided assistance to about 20 families, providing them with resources for food, clothing, lodging and help getting medications refilled.
A recent five-alarm blaze in Manhattan left more than 40 families homeless. Red Cross teams worked with officials to set up a reception center where the displaced residents could receive food, water and health and mental health assistance. The Red Cross also provided emergency housing for those in need and caseworkers met with the families to ensure their needs were taken care of.
In Central Falls, Rhode Island, the Red Cross assisted two families after a fire destroyed their homes. Red Cross workers provided the fire victims with emergency housing, food and comfort kits containing items such as toothbrushes, deodorant, shaving supplies and other things they may not have been able to gather in the rush to escape the fire.
Red Cross workers also assisted a family in Findlay, Ohio, with shelter, food and clothing after a fire destroyed their home. Red Cross caseworkers continue to assist the family as they begin to recover from the loss of their residence.
Disaster can happen anywhere, at any time. Fires like these are devastating to those involved.
No matter where the emergency occurs, or how large the disaster is, the Red Cross is prepared to respond. Thousands of trained disaster volunteers across the country are ready to lend a hand, along with a fleet of more than 320 emergency response vehicles ready to travel through affected neighborhoods to distribute meals and relief supplies.
HOW YOU CAN HELP A donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief can help provide shelter for someone who has had to leave their home, food and water for them to eat, a warm blanket on a cold night. To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Another way to help those in need is to become a Red Cross volunteer. Learn how to help run a shelter or be part of an emergency response vehicle team. There are many different positions people can learn about to be part of their chapter’s disaster response team. By becoming a Red Cross volunteer, you can change lives, starting with your own.