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Month in Review – September 2017

American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties: Month in Review – September 2017 

SAN DIEGO – October 3, 2017 – The American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties operates with the mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. 

Hurricane Relief Efforts

- In the last five weeks, the Red Cross, along with community and government partners, has provided more than 1.2 million overnight stays in emergency shelters. Shelters were opened in eight states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

- The Red Cross has served more than 5.3 million meals and snacks, and provided more than 2.5 million relief items to people in need. 

- Red Cross volunteers have provided more than 154,000 mental health and health services to support and care for those affected. 

- A total of more than 15,000 trained disaster workers, 91 percent of them volunteers, have been mobilized to support hurricane relief efforts. Many of these workers have supported multiple relief operations or deployed multiple times.

- Relief efforts throughout areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria will continue for many months San Diego/Imperial Counties Support for Hurricane Relief Efforts 

- There are 45 volunteers from San Diego and Imperial Counties currently deployed to assist with hurricane relief efforts. A total of 90 deployments are currently being or have been fulfilled by local Red Cross volunteers or staff.

- A remote casework hub has been set up in our Disaster Operation Center and 26 volunteers are “virtually deployed” to manage casework services for people affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida.

- A San Diego-based emergency response vehicle remains in Florida to support Red Cross response to Hurricane Irma.

- A total of five training and orientation sessions for new and prospective volunteers were held throughout the month of September. More than 200 people attended the sessions and from that group of new volunteers, 58 people have already deployed to disaster relief operations. 

- Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters like these: o In early September, an anonymous donor provided a $1 million match to donations designated for Hurricane Harvey. That match was reached in eight days o In late September, the same anonymous donor returned to provide a $1 million match for donations designated for Hurricane Irma. Donations are still needed to reach this match – visit, call the local Red Cross donation line at 858-309-1278 or text the word IRMA to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Locally, the Red Cross still maintains normal operations in addition to supporting major disaster relief operations. Throughout September 2017, the following key programs and services were provided throughout the region which covers all of San Diego and Imperial Counties as well as American Samoa. 

Disaster Services

- Responded to 22 incidents, with 16 of those being home fires. Served 33 families including 99 individuals. Provided canteen services with 127 meals for a wildfire response in Imperial County.

- Niland Power Outage Response – September 8-11 o 15 Red Cross volunteers responded to open a shelter in Niland (Imperial County) for residents affected by a power outage caused by a storm. 

- Sound the Alarm. Save a Life.  Free Smoke Alarm Installation Day – Saturday, October 7. Seven times a day, someone in this country dies in a home fire. Most fires occur in homes that lack working smoke alarms, which can cut the risk of death by half. We’re hitting the pavement to Sound the Alarm and install hundreds of free smoke alarms in one day on October 7 in Logan Heights. More information about the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign and Sound the Alarm installation event (including how to donate or volunteer) is available at 

Service to the Armed Forces (SAF)

- Provided 1,605 services to 1,195 military members, veterans and spouses. 

- Conducted five pre-deployment briefings, fulfilling 100% percent of command requests and reaching over 900 military families. 

- Services to the Armed Forces caseworkers conducted family follow up on 95% emergency cases for the San Diego Region.

- Hug-a-Hero dolls were given to 45 young children whose parents are members of the Helicopter Combat Support Squadron-6, which is set to deploy this week.

- Recent hurricane responses created unprecedented call volume in the Hero Care Center. Call volume went from 85 per hour to well over 450 per hour. SAF San Diego stepped in to assist, providing trained staff to accept cases from the Hero Care Center and conduct verification and delivery of emergency messages .


 - Local Red Cross services were supported by volunteers who spent a total of 9,684 hours throughout the month of September to aid the Red Cross mission. 

- The September 2017 Volunteer of the Month is Maggie Buckenmayer. Maggie works as a regional disaster duty officer, disaster action team lead, shelter strike team member, volunteer public information officer and more. After losing her home to the 2007 wildfires, Maggie went from Red Cross client to Red Cross volunteer. She is one of our most frequent local volunteers and has also deployed twice in the past year. She supports the mission of the Red Cross in a multitude of different ways and always with a professional and dedicated approach. 

Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Program 

- A total of 25,286 women, infants, and children received nutrition counseling and support in September 2017. 

- For more than 40 years, the local Red Cross has administered the WIC program in San Diego County. WIC is a supplemental nutrition assistance program that provides families in the most vulnerable communities with access to nutrition education, breastfeeding support, community resources, and groceries. 

Development & Events 

- Real Heroes Awards Breakfast o We hosted a community celebration aboard the U.S.S. Midway Museum on Friday, September 29, honoring 20 local individuals and organizations who’ve made a commitment to creating safer, stronger communities and providing help when disaster strikes. More information about the event is available at

For more information about the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties, please visit 

About the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties 

The American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties is the most trusted community service organization in education, preparation and response to natural disasters and human emergencies. With the public’s ongoing support, we provide lifesaving preparedness training; disaster relief services; services to deployed military personnel and their families, and nutritional counseling through our Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. Through Prepare San Diego, a four-year regional resiliency initiative, the Red Cross brings together key community and business leaders from the region to create a sustainable network that encourages preparedness, carries out response and recovery plans, and strives for resiliency in the face of disaster, meeting all aspects of the disaster lifecycle. 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 connect with us on Facebook and YouTube and Twitter. 

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