In 1905, Congress mandated the American Red Cross to act as the primary voluntary national disaster relief agency "To continue and carry on a system of national and international relief in time of peace and apply the same in mitigating the sufferings caused by pestilence, famine, fire, floods and other great national calamities, and to devise and carry on measures for preventing same."
Whether the disaster is a house fire that affects one family or a flood or tornado that affects thousands of people, the American Red Cross provides immediate help to those affected during times of crisis.
Every year in our 14-county area, the Red Cross responds to more than 230 disasters, 99 percent of which are home fires. Disaster Action Teams (DAT), made up entirely of volunteers, assess the needs of disaster victims to determine the clients' short and long-term needs.
Services we provide during the first 48 hours following a disaster can include:
- Clothing, shoes, coat replacement
- Toiletry items
- Flood clean-up kits
- Medical replacement (Rx, glasses, dentures, etc.)
- Mental Health support
- Referrals to other community organizations to assist with other needs
- Information to assist with planning long-term recovery
- Mass Care Sheltering and other client services (for large-scale disasters, in which over 25 people are affected)
All Red Cross disaster assistance is free and provided without bias, based solely on the disaster-caused need. The services are made possible through the generosity of the American people. The American Red Cross Tennessee Mountain Valley has no expectation of receiving reimbursement for services provided from the client or community.
The Red Cross hosts a monthly meeting for all disaster volunteers and encourages anyone interested to consider joining the Disaster Action Team. Meetings are the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at The American Red Cross, 6921 Middlebrook Pike in Knoxville. The public is welcome to attend.
The Red Cross Tennessee Mountain Valley responds to disasters in 14 counties of East Tennessee. For more information on Disaster Services, or becoming an American Red Cross disaster volunteer, please call Disaster Services at (865) 584-2999.