Atlanta, DECEMBER 19, 2019 — With the frequency of severe disasters on the rise, 376,000 people have turned to the American Red Cross for food, shelter and recovery support so far this calendar year.
As of early December, large disasters like western wildfires, coastal hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding in the Midwest led the Red Cross and its partners to open shelters for more than 300 days in 2019. Disasters threatened so many people, in fact, that the Red Cross sent over 320 million severe weather alerts through its free mobile apps.
“Red Cross volunteers worked tirelessly this year to help people in need -- and many of those people were already recovering from the past two years of extreme storms and fires,” said Jennifer Pipa, CEO for Georgia's Red Cross. “As 2020 approaches, families continue to rely on generous donations to the Red Cross to help provide relief and care in their darkest hours.”
Here in Georgia in 2019
- Red Cross volunteers responded to help neighbors in need after 2,204 home fire-related emergencies.
- Red Cross caseworkers provided recovery assistanceto 3,214 families.
- With the help of community partners, volunteers installed nearly 10,000 free smoke alarms - making over 4,000 households across Georgia safer from home fires.
Georgia Tornadoes (March 2019)
After serve weather in southwest and west central Georgia resulted in devastating tornadoes, trained Red Cross workers responded immediately. Dozens of overnight stays were provided at two shelters and over 2,100 comfort kits and clean-up supplies were distributed to affected residents. Red Cross workers also provided nearly 10,000 meals and snacks to people with nowhere else to turn.
Across the Country in 2019
(Learn more in this infographic)
When large disasters devastated families in the U.S. this year, nearly 9,000 Red Cross workers — 90 percent of them volunteers — left their homes to:
- Serve over 1.1 million meals and snacks with partners
- Distribute over 354,000 relief items
- Make over 92,000 contacts to support health, mental health, spiritual care and disability needs
- Provide over 79,000 overnight shelter stays with partners
HELPING DORIAN SURVIVORS IN THE BAHAMAS As part of the world’s largest humanitarian network, the American Red Cross continues to help Hurricane Dorian survivors in the Bahamas. So far, it has committed millions of dollars and deployed more than 40 disaster responders to support the global Red Cross and Red Crescent network’s relief efforts (visit redcross.org/dorian). Dorian was among 17 international disasters and humanitarian crises that the American Red Cross responded to this year.
RECONNECTING FAMILIES DURING EMERGENCIES In 2019, the American Red Cross helped reconnect over 17,000 family members separated by international conflict, disaster or migration — plus hundreds more following U.S. disasters. Through its Hero Care Network, the Red Cross also provided emergency communication services for nearly 100,000 military families, helping service members connect with family and facilitate their return home during critical times like a death in the family or birth of a child.
SAVING LIVES - HOMEFIRE CAMPAIGN Meanwhile, the Red Cross continues to work with its partners to prevent fire tragedies through its lifesaving Home Fire Campaign, which installed its 2 millionth free smoke alarm this year.
HOW YOU CAN HELP Help people in need by making a financial donation at redcross.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). For volunteer opportunities, contact your local chapter. In addition, this year’s severe weather and disasters caused about 34,000 blood donations to go uncollected because of cancelled blood drives. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, and the Red Cross urges all eligible individuals to donate. Make an appointment at RedCrossBlood.org.
About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.