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Hurricane Relief: American Red Cross

Hurricane Relief, American Red Cross

 

The American Red Cross

The American Red Cross is a wonderful example of an organization, people, volunteers, communities, and strangers who become friends while helping one another when a disaster strikes. Hurricanes cause devastation for thousands of families every year and it’s lucky that there are organizations and hurricane relief agencies like the American Red Cross. This organization is not only there to help pick up the pieces but also to help the communities to be prepared before the hurricane even strikes.

The American Red Cross provides emergency hurricane assistance, disaster relief, and education throughout the United States to help people to deal with natural disasters. The headquarters for the American Red Cross is in Washington D.C., but there are local divisions all across the United States ready to help out whenever they are needed. They can and do help prepare for a potential hurricane, clean up after the storm, provide food and shelter, and support the local communities.

 

History of the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross has been helping people for over 130 years with the American Red Cross Nursing Service formed in 1910. There is now a huge network nationwide with over 650 chapters and 36 regions for giving blood. Each and every chapter makes a tremendous difference in both saving lives and helping communities and individuals to prevent, get prepared for, and respond to hurricanes and other emergencies.

The American Red Cross has over a million volunteers and 30,000 employees, all ready to help the victims of natural disasters. Although the hurricane season typically takes up a lot of the time and efforts of the American Red Cross, they also help out with tons of other emergencies too like floods, fires, earthquakes, hazardous material spills, explosions, and tornadoes.

 

How Does The American Red Cross Help With Hurricanes?

The American Red Cross helps in many different ways, both before, during and after a hurricane.

  • providing food
  • providing shelter
  • providing medical services
  • providing mental health services
  • providing translation services to those who need them
  • providing blood for hurricane and other disaster victims
  • providing training for people to prepare for a hurricane or other disaster
  • handling inquiries from family members outside the disaster area who are concerned for their families

 

The American Red Cross and Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina proved to be an enormous challenge in many ways for thousands of people in our country, not to mention one giant head-ache for the American Red Cross. The unparalleled disaster was forecast before Hurricane Katrina actually hit in 2005 and the American Red Cross had already enlisted the help of an extra two thousand volunteers in anticipation.

During this mother of all hurricane seasons, Katrina, Rita, and Wilma really kept the American Red Cross busy. The organization opened nearly 1,500 emergency shelters across the country and registered a massive 3.8 million overnight stays. With the assistance of 300,000 workers (and with 82% of them were unpaid volunteers), the Red Cross helped meet the needs of the thousands of people affected during this particularly bad hurricane season.

 


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