As the country heads into what experts say will be very active wildfire and Atlantic hurricane seasons, the American Red Cross has already been busy responding to various disasters.
Since March, trained Red Cross disaster workers have responded to as many as 28 storms and tornadoes across 18 states, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Texas, Arkansas, Indiana, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
This is on top of the tens of thousands of smaller disasters such as home fires. Red Cross disaster workers respond to more than 60,000 disasters every year and most of these responses are to support families that have experienced a fire in their home.
28 STORMS & TORNADOES
These are just some of the emergencies which occurred in the last few months:
Louisiana – in late March a tornado touched down in the southeast part of the state, damaging homes and devastating the town of Arabi. With 160 mph winds, the tornado was the strongest on record to hit the area.
Mississippi – in mid-April, a tornado hit Beaumont causing extensive damage.
Oklahoma - During the first week of May, Oklahoma was hit with multiple tornadoes in the northeast and flooding in the center of the state.
Montana – Devastating flooding hit Yellowstone National Park and surrounding towns this month, closing the park and forcing 10,000 visitors to evacuate.
Florida – earlier in June, a strong storm system brought heavy rains to the southern end of the state, causing widespread flooding.
RED CROSS RESPONSE
In all of these emergencies, Red Cross disaster teams provided support to those affected. This help often included a safe place to stay, cots, blankets, water, personal hygiene and cleaning kits and other critical relief supplies.
To support families who suffered unimaginable loss, the Red Cross provided mental health, health services and spiritual care services.
In addition, Red Cross caseworkers met with people who needed extra help to determine what resources could help aid their recovery.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
GET YOUR HOUSEHOLD READY Make sure your family is prepared for disasters.
- Create an evacuation plan. If you already have a plan, update and it and review with family members so everyone knows what to do if an emergency occurs.
- Build an emergency kit. If you already have a disaster kit, now is the time make sure the food and water is still okay to consume and that copies of important documents are up to date.
- Be informed. Find out how local officials will contact you during an emergency and how you will get important information, such as evacuation orders.
- Download the free Red Cross Emergency app to help keep you and your loved ones safe with real-time alerts, open Red Cross shelter locations and safety advice on emergencies.
VOLUNTEER As we head into what experts say will be very busy wildfire and hurricane seasons, the Red Cross needs more volunteers to respond to these emergencies. The need to help during disasters has never been greater. Join us to provide relief and hope when it matters most. Visit redcross.org to sign up now.
DONATE You can help people affected by disasters like storms, floods and countless other crises by making a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
GIVE BLOOD Blood donations typically decline at this time of the year — especially during holiday weeks like Independence Day — but the need for blood and platelet transfusions doesn’t take a summer break. Generous blood and platelet donors are critically important in ensuring lifesaving care is available the moment patients need it. To schedule an appointment to donate, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
CORPORATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS HELP The generous donations from members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and the Disaster Responder Program enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters big and small, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur and help families during the recovery process.
ADGP $1 Million members are: Amazon; American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Anthem Foundation; Bank of America; Best Buy; Caterpillar Foundation; Costco Wholesale; Delta Air Lines; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; Latter-day Saint Charities; Lilly Endowment Inc.; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; McDonald’s Corporation; Microsoft Corp.; Nationwide Foundation; PetSmart Charities; The Starbucks Foundation; State Farm; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited; Truist Foundation; VSP Vision; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; and Wells Fargo.
ADGP $500,000 members are: Altria Group; Aon; Bread Financial; Calmoseptine, Inc.; Capital One; CarMax; Citi Foundation; The Clorox Company; Darden Foundation; Delta Dental Community Care Foundation; Dollar General; Edison International; Energy Transfer/Sunoco Foundation; Ford Motor Company Fund; Fox Corporation; General Motors; The Home Depot Foundation; International Paper; The J.M. Smucker Company; Johnson Controls Foundation; The Kroger Co. Foundation; Liberty Mutual Insurance; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Mastercard; Merck; Mondelēz International Foundation; New Balance Foundation; Organon; PayPal; PepsiCo Foundation; Salesforce; Southeastern Grocers Gives Foundation & Southeastern Grocers, home of Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie; Stanley Black & Decker; Target; The TJX Companies, Inc.; Toyota; United Airlines; UPS; USAA; Visa Foundation; The Walt Disney Company; and The Wawa Foundation.
Disaster Responder Program members are: 7-Eleven Cares Foundation; Adobe; The AES Corporation; American Express; Ameriprise Financial; Assurant; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; Avangrid Foundation; Barclays; Big 5 Sporting Goods; CDW; Choice Hotels International; Cisco Foundation; CNA Insurance; The Coca-Cola Company; CSX; The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation; Discover; Duke Energy; Dutch Bros Foundation; Equitable; FirstEnergy Corporation; Gopuff; Harbor Freight Tools Foundation, LLC; HCA Healthcare; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation; HP Foundation; Humble Bundle; Kaiser Permanente; Kimberly-Clark Corporation; The Kraft Heinz Company Foundation; The Labcorp Charitable Foundation; Lenovo Foundation; LHC Group; Major League Baseball; Marathon Petroleum Foundation, Inc.; Martin Marietta; Mattress Firm; McKesson; MetLife Foundation; Neiman Marcus Group; NextEra Energy, Inc.; Northrop Grumman; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; Old Dominion Freight Line; Pacific Life Foundation; Procter & Gamble; Prudential Financial; Raytheon Technologies; Reckitt; Rodan + Fields Prescription for Change Project, a project of New Venture Fund; Ross Stores Foundation; Ryder System, Inc.; San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Security Finance’s Lending Hand Foundation; ServiceNow; Southwest Airlines; Tata Consultancy Services; U-Haul International; U.S. Bank Foundation; and Zurich.