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One-Month Progress Report Highlights American Red Cross Response to Hurricane Maria


Detailed Report Breaks Down How Donations are Supporting Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico

WASHINGTON, Friday, November 10, 2017 — The American Red Cross issued a detailed one-month progress report today on its efforts to provide food, water, relief supplies, health support and other aid to people affected by Hurricane Maria across Puerto Rico.

“Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands right on the heels of Hurricane Irma, and together, the two storms left behind incredible devastation. Despite infrastructure and communication challenges, the Red Cross has worked alongside dozens of partners to provide critical support and help reconnect families,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president of Disaster Services Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. “Puerto Rico has a long road ahead. Thanks to the generous support of our donors, the Red Cross will continue to stand with residents in the difficult weeks and months ahead.”

Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico in late September as a Category 4 storm – the most intense hurricane to hit the U.S. territory in more than 80 years. The deadly storm caused widespread destruction, tearing off roofs and reducing homes to rubble; wiping out roads, bridges and crops; knocking out power and cell phone service; and creating devastating floods and mudslides. In Maria’s aftermath, countless residents faced heartbreaking personal losses and challenges from damaged infrastructure. Millions in Puerto Rico were left without power; many also lacked phone service and safe drinking water.

The global Red Cross Red Crescent network also came to the American Red Cross’s aid to help after back-to-back hurricanes. In fact, more than 30 Red Cross disaster responders from around the globe deployed to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands to help American Red Cross teams deliver aid and reconnect families who lost touch because of the storm. These disaster responders came from Red Cross societies in Colombia, Costa Rica, Finland, Mexico, Spain, and from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Thus far, the American Red Cross has also deployed five disaster specialists and contributed $150,000 towards Hurricane Maria relief efforts on Dominica. The responders are helping the Dominica Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies with damage assessments, telecommunications connectivity, reconnecting family members, and are currently evaluating the feasibility of distributing cash as aid.


As of October 20, the Red Cross raised $31.6 million in designated donations for the Maria relief effort. All donations earmarked for Hurricane Maria will be used to support relief and recovery efforts for this disaster. Learn more about how donations are helping in this video or in our detailed report. The following are examples of how donations are being used:

  • Donations pay for provision and delivery of food, water and relief items, accounting for $24.2 million of our preliminary budget estimate. In the first month, the Red Cross served 1.3 million meals and snacks, and distributed more than 843,000 relief items.
  • Donations pay for health and mental health services, accounting for $500,000 of our preliminary budget estimate. In the first month, the Red Cross provided more than 11,000 services to support and care for people.
  • Donations pay for individual and community recovery programs, accounting for $4.1 million of our preliminary budget estimate. The Red Cross is working alongside local partners to plan for long-term recovery and helping communities rebound and prepare for future disasters.
  • Donations pay to transport, lodge and feed thousands of trained disaster workers who work in shelters, drive food trucks, hand out relief supplies, replace medications and eyeglasses, provide emotional support and coordinate with local officials.
  • Donations pay for the freight, warehousing and other logistics expenses that enable the Red Cross to provide food, water and the truck-loads of relief items we’ve given out.
  • Donations pay for the equipment, maintenance and fueling of emergency vehicles and rented trucks that deliver food and relief items to people in need.
  • Donations pay for the full-time program staff, disaster information technology, communications and call center infrastructure that make all of this help possible.
  • Donations also pay for our management, general and fundraising expenses that support our work at its core and are indispensable to running the organization and helping people in need. They include the people and systems to maintain our enterprise-wide computer and telecommunications, HR and payroll systems to support our more than 20,000 employees and nearly 314,000 volunteers, fundraising and communications functions, and other support services across all program lines.
  • 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.