Corporate Partners Help American Red Cross Get Ready for 2011 Hurricane Season

As floods, wildfires and tornadoes continue to ravage the U.S., and with forecasters predicting an above-average hurricane season, the American Red Cross is getting prepared with the help of the corporations and foundations that support the Red Cross through the Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and Disaster Responder (DR) program.

Members of these programs pledge donations on an ongoing basis in advance of major disasters, such as the deadly tornadoes, major flooding and wildfires that have devastated the country this spring. These companies understand that proper supplies and systems have to be in place to respond effectively. With pre-positioned supplies ready, the Red Cross can immediately take action when hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, wildfires and other disasters strike.

According to the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project, the 2011 hurricane season may see above-average activity in the Atlantic. The report estimates approximately 16 named storms, 9 hurricanes and 5 major hurricanes will occur during the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30.

“We want to thank our Annual Disaster Giving Program and Disaster Responder members for helping us to be ready for any disasters that occur this year,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. “Their generous contributions over the past decade allow us to get immediate relief to victims before the first donations come in.”

Since March 31, the American Red Cross has launched 41 large disaster responses across 28 states after this spring’s devastating wildfires, flooding and tornadoes. The Red Cross has—

  • Served more than 2.7 million meals and snacks;
  • Opened more than 260 shelters and provided more than 28,000 overnight stays;
  • Provided more than 60,000 mental health and health consultations;
  • Distributed more than 1.2 million relief items like toothbrushes and shampoo, tarps, coolers, rakes and other cleanup supplies; and
  • Deployed more than 11,000 trained disaster relief workers from all 50 states.

Working with partners around the globe, the American Red Cross also helps to build the local capacities of sister Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, by collaborating to train and organize volunteers and educate communities, and establish partnerships with other public and private organizations to strengthen and complement core international services and initiatives.

During a domestic disaster, the Red Cross sends volunteers and supplies into affected areas to shelter, feed and provide emotional support to disaster victims and emergency personnel. Generous gifts from ADGP and DR members offset a range of expenses, including warehousing supplies, shelter and feeding costs, deploying the fleet of disaster response vehicles and reconnecting individuals separated during disasters.

Members of the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program are 3M, Altria Group, Aon, Cisco Foundation, ConAgra Foods, Costco Wholesale Corporation, Darden Restaurants, Inc., Dr Pepper Snapple Group, FedEx Corporation, GE Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, John Deere Foundation, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Kraft Foods, Lowe’s Companies, Inc., Merck, Morgan Stanley, Nationwide Insurance Foundation, Northrop Grumman, Ryder Charitable Foundation, Southwest Airlines, State Farm, State Street Foundation, Target, The TJX Companies, Inc., UnitedHealthcare, UPS and Walmart.

Members of the Disaster Responder program are American Express, Archer Daniels Midland Company, AXA Foundation, General Motors Foundation, Starbucks Coffee Company and Starbucks Foundation.

People can join Annual Disaster Giving Program and Disaster Responder members in supporting the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and help provide food, shelter, emotional support and other assistance to the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year. Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make a donation.