American Red Cross Volunteers Continue to Respond to Historic Disasters –  You Can Help

Thousands of people are still working hard to recover from the major hurricanes and devastating wildfires that changed lives forever along the Gulf Coast and in several western states. American Red Cross disaster workers remain on the ground in both regions, working 24-7 to help thousands of people in need.

Over the past several weeks, the Red Cross has:

  • Provided more than 1 million overnight stays in emergency lodgings across multiple states all over the country    
  • With partners, served more than 2.7 million meals and snacks    
  • Distributed 324,300 relief items with the help of partners               
  • Provided 99,900 individual care contacts to help people with medical or disability needs or provide emotional and spiritual support during these challenging times
  • Provided 8,980 households with emergency financial assistance to help them replace essential items and begin to recover

The Red Cross continues our daily mission of helping people impacted by smaller disasters like home fires. This work happens every day across the United States.

HURRICANE RESPONSE Hundreds of Red Cross disaster workers are responding along the Gulf Coast as people begin their recovery from Hurricanes Laura, Sally and Delta. The Red Cross, working with partners, is focused on making sure people have a safe place to stay, food to eat, emotional support and other assistance. 

WILDFIRE RESPONSE Meanwhile, thousands of survivors out west remain in emergency lodging, forced from their homes by the record-setting wildfires which have destroyed thousands of homes and other buildings.

COVID-19 has not changed the Red Cross mission, and we are still providing the same types of support as we have previously. To help keep people safe, we are following guidance from CDC and public health authorities — and have put in place additional precautions. Some of these plans include social distancing protocols, face coverings, health screenings and enhanced cleaning methods.

This ongoing coronavirus pandemic has only compounded the devastation brought by these disasters. The country is seeing an average of more than 59,000 new cases every day and almost every state reports an increase in COVID-19 cases. Responding to disasters is a team effort and no single organization can do it alone. This is particularly true in this current coronavirus environment.

“You can help by making a donation, giving blood, or by becoming a Red Cross volunteer,” said Joel Sullivan, regional executive director with the American Red Cross for the Tennessee Region. “Your financial gift will enable our volunteers to continue to prepare and respond to people who are recovering from disasters big and small. All donations matter.”

“Plus, our volunteer workforce has been stretched this year and challenged,” he added. “We continue to recruit new volunteers who are looking to make a real difference in their communities and nationwide when disaster strikes. We will train all volunteers to respond to any disaster both locally and abroad.”

This fall, wildfires and hurricanes have added new hurdles in collecting lifesaving blood donations and compounded ongoing challenges to maintaining enough blood supply during COVID-19. Unfortunately, these disasters are not over. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. And those needs do not diminish during disasters or pandemics.

To help restock hospital shelves, the Red Cross urges eligible individuals in parts of the country unaffected by these disasters to give blood, platelets or plasma for patients in need of transfusions. Please schedule an appointment to donate by using the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 800-RED-CROSS.

To make a financial donation, visit redcross.org, calling 800-RED-CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

To become a Red Cross volunteer, go to redcross.org/Volunteer.