In the past 60 days, the Red Cross has responded to 183 disasters affecting 618 people in the Western Carolinas Region. That’s up 30% from this time last year. Between normal disaster response and the influx of winter storms we’ve experienced in our area, every single dollar you’ve donated has been put to good use. On behalf of our clients and our staff, we couldn’t have done it without you. Inevitably, these increases in demand have made a real dent in our budget.
Many times, donors respond to large scale disasters by making a financial gift to the Red Cross. “In reality, what you’re doing is helping us for the next disaster. If we didn’t raise money in advance of the one that was happening, we’d be stopped in our tracks,” says Ann Wright, Regional CEO.
Disaster response for 27 counties in the Upstate and Western NC is no small operation, but it’s essential for the well being of our neighbors who could have nowhere else to turn. Response doesn’t start after the damage is done, it begins the moment we know about the threat. If we receive warning about a major disaster, any number of shelters are prepared throughout our region. At a rate of nearly $6,000 per shelter, the cost of preparations quickly adds up. And that doesn’t include meals, recovery kits, or the cost to train volunteers.
When preparing for a disaster, thinking ahead is not an option, it’s a necessity. Thanks to you and all of our Red Cross donors, we’re able to save lives by preparing before a disaster hits.