The Red Cross In Central Pennsylvania Red Cross | Home Fires, Fire

The Red Cross In Central Pennsylvania

  • burned house with fire truck and red cross disaster response vehicle out front in harrisburg

House Fires to Floods

We’re ready to respond to disaster 7 days a week, 365 days a year in our community, providing shelter, food, clothing and emotional support at no cost to those in need. The American Red Cross Serving Central Pennsylvania is part of a nationwide network of Red Cross chapters that work together to respond to large-scale relief efforts.

On average, the Central Pennsylvania Red Cross responds to a house fire every 19 hours.

Our volunteers help those affected by disaster by helping to meet their disaster-caused emergency needs, such as food, clothing, shelter and emotional support. All Red Cross disaster relief assistance is provided free of charge and is made possible by the contributions of time and financial donations from the American people.

Home fires are the most common disaster to which the Red Cross responds. On average, the Region responds to a house fire or other local disaster every 19 hours. Although these don’t typically make the news as hurricanes or other large-scale events do, they are devastating for those who have suddenly lost their homes, possessions and sense of security. During the past fiscal year, July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012, the Red Cross Serving Central Pennsylvania assisted 613 local families affected by fires and other local disasters.

Preparing for the Unexpected

The Red Cross also teaches families, organizations and corporations how to be prepared for emergencies through free educational presentations. Last year 16,837 people attended community disaster education and preparedness programs through the Central Pennsylvania Region.

Every year, the Red Cross also teaches people the lifesaving skills they need to protect themselves and their families, including first aid, CPR and water safety.

We offer these trainings in multiple ways: online training, traditional classroom settings and full-service courses where we bring the training to your workplace or organization. Last year, 103,455 individuals, 3.33% of our population, learned critical skills through Red Cross courses, including:

  • 47,304 people enrolled in first aid, CPR/AED
  • 13,540 people enrolled in water safety/aquatics
  • 922 people enrolled in Caregiving courses

Local Efforts, Global Reach

Red Cross responders at disaster site holding a baby

The American Red Cross is one of more than 180 Red Cross and Red Crescent societies based in nations around the world. Together, we help by alleviating human suffering wherever it is found. The Red Cross promotes cost-effective, community-based programs that target large numbers of people with humanitarian aid that is rapid, effective and large-scale. In addition to international disaster relief, we conduct family tracing programs to locate loved ones missing due to war, natural disaster or civil unrest. We also work with partners to prevent diseases through the distribution of educational materials, vaccinations and health supplies.

Among other international disasters during 2010-2011, nearly 370,000 people were affected when a major earthquake and tsunami struck Japan. Our local communities reached out a helping hand through the Red Cross.

In addition, eleven individuals with ties to Central PA were assisted through the Red Cross International Tracing Services.

Serving the Military, Their Families and Veterans

Returning Home
The American Red Cross offers multiple skill-building opportunities for military families to identify and cope effectively with the unique challenges that arise after a deployment. We offer Coming Home From Deployment: The New “Normal” booklet as well as a Workshop series called: Reconnection Workshops to assist families with what can be a difficult and complicated transition home.
Red Cross woman speaking with two military service people about support services

The Red Cross gives support to active-duty military members, National Guard and Reserve members, veterans and their families. We provide pre-deployment briefings, called “Get to Know Us Before You Need Us,” and connect families with needed resources when their loved ones are deployed.

Deployed service members also count on us to deliver emergency messages, such as notification of an illness or death in the family. Military families rely on these verified communications, which help commanders decide when to grant leave. We also provide support for the sick and wounded at military and veterans hospitals and assistance in obtaining emergency financial support.

Military families rely on these verified communications. Military commands use the factual messages to assist in the vital decision of whether or not to grant leave. Additionally we provide access to emergency financial assistance.

We provide support for the sick and wounded at military and veterans hospitals.

In fiscal year 2011, the Red Cross serving Central Pennsylvania assisted 1,478 local military members, veterans and families, including emergency communications and other support.

In 2011, this Red Cross Region initiated the annual “Totes of Hope” Program, in which volunteers assembled 400 backpacks of necessities and comfort items for homeless veterans. The comfort items are generously donated by our community. Annually, we host a Holiday Card for Heroes campaign where we enlist the local community to send military members holiday greeting cards.

Blood—Making Sure it’s Available

We supported the efforts of the American Red Cross Blood Services, which processes, tests and safeguards blood collected from nearly 8,000 donors in our local communities.

Responding to Community Needs

harrisburg family reunited by the red cross in central pennsylvania

Carrying on the Red Cross tradition of supporting quality nursing, the Red Cross located in Harrisburg conducts and oversees the Certified Nursing exams for the state of Pennsylvania and four other states. The chapter processed the applications for and certified over 30,000 nurse aides.