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Slideshow: Faces and Stories of Hurricane Katrina

  • School social worker Emily Mitchell helps out Briana Springs.
    School social worker Emily Mitchell helps out Briana Springs during class time as one of the 245,000 Red Cross disaster workers, many of them volunteers, assisting millions of people following Hurricane Katrina.
  • : Red Cross workers hand out food after Hurricane Katrina
    Red Cross workers hand out food after Hurricane Katrina, the first disaster in which Red Cross served 1 million meals in a single day.
  • Three boys in Mississippi smile and hold the food they got from the Red Cross truck.
    Three boys in Mississippi smile and hold the food they got from the Red Cross truck, part of the nearly 68 million meals and snacks served following Hurricane Katrina.
  • The Red Cross had more than 3.8 million overnight stays in shelters across 31 states and Washington, D.C.
    The Red Cross had more than 3.8 million overnight stays in shelters across 31 states and Washington, D.C. – seven times higher than any other disaster up to that point.
  • Emergency financial assistance was provided to 1.4 million families
    Emergency financial assistance was provided to 1.4 million families, including 89-year-old Gaynette C. Pugh inside the Red Cross Financial Assistance Center at the Isaiah Fredricks Community Center in Gulfport, Miss.
A peek into the Red Cross response to Hurricane Katrina

The Hurricane Katrina relief effort was unprecedented in its size and scope – the first time a disaster forced the evacuation of an entire metropolitan area, resulting in survivors being dispersed to 31 states and Washington, D.C. More than 245,000 Red Cross disaster workers assisted millions of people with shelter, food, resources to get back on their feet, emotional support and other basic needs.

The American Red Cross response to Hurricane Katrina surpassed any disaster response before it and nothing in the last ten years has reached its magnitude.

The Red Cross:

  • Provided more than 3.8 million overnight stays in shelters across 31 states and Washington, D.C. – seven times higher than any other disaster up to that point.
  • Served nearly 68 million meals and snacks, four times more than what the Red Cross had ever provided during past relief efforts.
  • For the first time, served a million meals in a single day.
  • Provided emergency financial assistance to 1.4 million families – nearly 20 times more than any response prior to Katrina.
  • STORIES BEHIND THE NUMBERS Meet some of the people we helped and hear their stories, compiled on redcross.org

    RED CROSS RESPONSE Learn about how help continued after the storm and find resources to be prepared for emergencies in “Hurricane Katrina Led to Largest Ever Red Cross Relief Response. ”

    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 redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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