In 2023, intensifying extreme disasters took a devastating toll on people in the U.S. who turned to the American Red Cross for help coping with a record number of billion-dollar disasters.
With the growing frequency and intensity of disasters, the Red Cross is racing to adapt its services and grow its disaster response capacity across the country. As part of this national work in 2023, the Red Cross distributed $108 million in financial assistance directly to people after disasters of all sizes, including for tornadoes and flooding that occurred over the summer as well as major disasters such as Hurricane Idalia, the Hawaii wildfires and a spate of tornadoes across multiple states.
“Growing extreme disasters are causing more humanitarian needs for families across our state and across the country,” said Adam Runkle, Regional Disaster Officer for the Illinois Red Cross. “This holiday season, please remember those who need support in the face of emergencies — and join us to provide care and comfort by volunteering your time, making a financial donation or by giving blood.”
Visit https://www.redcross.org/local/illinois/ways-to-donate/local-giving.html for more information about how the Red Cross of Illinois helped people in our communities and across the country in 2023.
Across the country, the Red Cross is delivering this vital financial assistance on top of its immediate relief efforts — including safe shelter, nutritious meals and emotional support — which have been provided on a near-constant basis for this year’s relentless extreme disasters. In fact, this year’s onslaught of large disasters drove an increase in emergency lodging provided by the Red Cross with partners — with overnight stays up more than 50% compared to the annual average for the previous five years.
HOME FIRE RESPONSE Over the past week, local Red Cross volunteers responded to help 173 people, including 50 children, in Chicago, Waukegan, Dolton, Blue Island, Evanston, Grayslake, Schaumburg, and Round Lake affected by 39 home fires, which account for most of the more than 60,000 disasters that the Red Cross responds to annually across the country. Red Cross volunteers provided items to meet immediate needs after a fire and additional support in the form of shelter, health and mental health services and one-on-one support.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.