More than 2,000 people in Central Pennsylvania were forced from their homes due to disaster and sought Red Cross assistance during Fiscal Year 2013, a year without any major disaster striking our region. Home fires were the number one cause of these responses, with floods and weather-related disasters also causing misery in the communities we serve.
The Red Cross could not care for all these people in their time of need without the dedication and hard work of our volunteers. Did you know that last year, our Central Pennsylvania volunteers answered a call every 14 hours to provide assistance to local families and individuals who have been forced from their homes from by fire or other disaster? The Red Cross responded to 613 incidents last year, compared to 527 the previous year.
Our current fiscal year, which began on July 1, is also off to a busy start. During the first 11days of July, the Red Cross responded to 17 local incidents, providing direct assistance to 153 people, sheltered 300 others and provided food water and a place of respite for more than 200 first responders who were tackling large incidents.
On July 4th weekend alone, the American Red Cross responded to a total of 8 local incidents and assisted 91 people. On the holiday itself, the Red Cross assisted 16 people from four families in Ephrata and 17 people in a fire in Lancaster City.
These numbers do not reflect those impacted locally by Superstorm Sandy in October 2013. The American red Cross opened 18 shelters in Central Pennsylvania where 240 people spent the night. During the Storm and during the response operation, 118 local Red Cross volunteers assisted in providing disaster relief to those in need.
This level of response was only possible with the financial support of generous individuals, corporations and foundations who stand alongside the American Red Cross to help those in times of need. We are grateful for their support.