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Home Fires Become Top Disaster Threat in Massachusetts

Home Fires Become Top Disaster Threat in Massachusetts
Our work doesn’t end after the smoke clears, every day local volunteers are helping people to recover and get better prepared.

This year the Red Cross in Massachusetts helped more people affected by home fires than all other disasters combined. Local volunteers responded at all hours of the day with food, blankets and comfort to help more than 4,850 people with nowhere else to turn after home fires from Jan. 1 to Dec. 1, 2014.

The Red Cross also provided financial support to 1,550 households after home fires to help replace lost belongings and begin the long road to recovery. Nationally, the Red Cross responds to a disaster in the community every 8 minutes and the vast majority of these are home fires.

“While tornadoes, floods and hurricanes tend to dominate the headlines, people often underestimate the frequency and devastation caused by home fires, and that’s where your local Red Cross comes in,” said Ralph Boyd, CEO of the Massachusetts region. “Our work doesn’t end after the smoke clears, every day local volunteers are helping people to recover and get better prepared.”

Curbing Deaths and Injuries from Home Fires

Because of the high number of home fires in this country, the Red Cross launched a campaign this year to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent over the next five years. The organization is asking every household in America to take two simple steps: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home.

Since the campaign launched in October, the Red Cross—in partnership with fire departments and community groups nationwide—has already reached more than 29,000 people by installing 17,000 smoke alarms. These efforts have already saved five lives nationwide. In Massachusetts we’ve worked with local fire department to reach people by installing smoke alarms and holding events that educate communities about fire safety.

Other Notable Disaster Responses

In addition to home fires, the Massachusetts responded to numerous other disasters this year, including:

• The Revere Tornado- Red Cross provided almost $15,000 in assistance through a variety of services including food, clothing, lodging and transportation. We provided assistance through local resource referrals as well as basic guidance relative to dealing with landlords and insurance companies regarding home repairs. Red Cross helped 164 individuals directed impacted by the tornado.

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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

About our Corporate Holiday Supporters:

During this holiday season, the American Red Cross is grateful for those corporate supporters that generously contribute to our Holiday Giving Campaign. They include: Circle K West Coast and Florida Divisions, FedEx, Mazda and its Dealers and Target. Thanks to the generosity of these and other supporters, the Red Cross is able to bring help and hope to people across the country. This holiday season, you can Give Something that Means Something by making a financial gift or donating life-saving blood. To learn more about our corporate holiday supporters, visit

The generous investments from the Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and the Red Cross Disaster Responder Program enable the Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters big and small, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur and help families during the recovery process.

The 2014 members of the Red Cross ADGP are: Wells Fargo; Wawa; Walmart; VSP℠ Vision care for life; UPS; United Technologies Corporation; United Airlines; The TJX Companies, Inc.; TD Ameritrade; Target; State Farm; Sprint; Southwest Airlines; San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Samsung; Prudential Foundation; PepsiCo Foundation; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Nationwide Insurance Foundation; National Grid; Mondelēz International Foundation; Merck & Co., Inc.; Meijer; Medtronic; Mazda North American Operations; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; Kraft Foods Group Foundation; Kimberly-Clark Corporation; Johnson Controls; John Deere Foundation; Humble Bundle; The Home Depot; Hewlett-Packard Company Foundation; Grainger; GE Foundation; FedEx Corporation; Edison International; eBay Inc.; Dr Pepper Snapple Group; Disney; Discover; Dell Inc.; Darden Restaurants Foundation; Costco Wholesale Corporation; ConAgra Foods Foundation; Citi Foundation; Cisco Foundation; Caterpillar Foundatio n; Capital One; BNY Mellon; Bank of America; Aon; Anthem Foundation; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; American Express; American Airlines; Altria Group; and 3M.

The 2014 members of the Red Cross Disaster Responder Program are: Western Union Foundation; U.S. Bank; UBS Americas; T O Y O T A; Swiss Re Foundation; Sunoco; State Street; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Foundation, Inc.; Starbucks Coffee Company and Starbucks Foundation; San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E); Ryder; Residence Inn by Marriott; PuroClean; PSEG Foundation; Procter & Gamble Company; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; New Balance Foundation; Morgan Stanley; MetLife Foundation; Marsh & McLennan Companies; Land O’Lakes, Inc.; Ingersoll Rand Foundation; H&R Block; H&M; General Motors Foundation; Ford Motor Company; Farmers Insurance; Delta Air Lines; The Clorox Company; Carlson Rezidor Hotels; Bi-Lo Holdings parent company of BI-LO, Harveys and Winn-Dixie; Ball Foundation; AXA Foundation; AT&T; AstraZeneca; ArcelorMittal; Alcoa and 1-800-BOARDUP.