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Red Cross Responds to Disasters Large and Small

Disasters can happen anywhere, at any time.

The American Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters every year. That’s one about every nine minutes.

Most people hear about the large disasters that affect an entire part of the country, emergencies like Hurricane Isaac that recently devastated the Gulf Coast. The residents of LaPlace, Louisiana suffered when Hurricane Isaac hit the area. Water poured into homes, at times waist deep.

It has been two weeks since the waters flooded people’s homes. At first, Red Cross response vehicles pushed disaster relief supplies including clean-up kits, snacks, and water. Now Red Cross caseworkers are meeting with families to provide access to resources and tools to support the recovery process.

While not as well known as big hurricanes, the Red Cross also responds to disasters like home fires, personal tragedies that can leave families with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Recently, Red Cross chapters responded to fires in Connecticut that affected almost 50 people. The Red Cross provided shelter, food, personal hygiene items and help with clothing.

In Killeen, Texas, the Red Cross provided shelter, meals and other support for 29 residents displaced by an apartment fire.

In Pascagoula, Mississippi, five families were displaced when fire hit their apartment building. The Red Cross worked with the families to fill their immediate emergency needs.

And in Brentwood on Long Island, the Red Cross helped four families after an explosion destroyed one home in the neighborhood and damaged neighboring houses.

Disasters 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, the Red Cross is prepared to respond. There are more than 70,000 trained disaster volunteers across the country 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, 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.

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.