Disaster Relief

People count on the Red Cross to help them in their darkest hour.

Disaster Relief at a Glance

Red Cross Mobile response vehicles circulate throughout affected communities after disasters.
The Red Cross opens shelters to make sure people have a safe place to stay, a hot meal and access to other support from trained volunteers.
Red Cross Relief items help people in the immediate aftermath of a disaster and in the days and weeks that follow.
Red Cross health and mental health volunteers travel to disaster sites to help people cope.
After a disaster, the Red Cross works with community partners to provide hot meals, snacks and water.
Trained Red Cross volunteers and employees are ready to deploy within hours of a disaster to help.
To find out more about American Red Cross disaster services programs at work, please visit The Red Cross Disaster Online Newsroom, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Linkedin and Social Vibe.

We're Here to Help

The Red Cross was chartered by the United States Congress to "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 the same." The Charter is unique to the Red Cross because it assigns duties and obligations to the nation, to disaster survivors, and to the people who generously support our work through donations.

Red Cross disaster relief focuses on meeting people's immediate emergency needs caused by disaster. When disaster threatens or strikes, the Red Cross provides shelter, food, and health and emotional health service to address basic human needs and assist individuals and families in resuming their normal daily activities independently.

The Red Cross also feeds emergency workers like fire fighters and police, handles inquiries from concerned family members outside the disaster area, provides blood and blood products to disaster victims, and helps them access other available resources.

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Every year, the victims of nearly 70,000 disasters rely on the Red Cross for immediate help.