Red Cross Practicing What it Preaches on Preparedness

Many people know the Red Cross for its disaster relief work or blood donations, but helping people be prepared for emergencies is another important part of our work.

The Red Cross is practicing what it preaches on preparedness, as we are working to be better ready to respond to disasters of all sizes—down the street here in central Ohio, across the country and around the world.

With a severe hurricane season predicted, the Red Cross is making a fundraising push now, asking for contributions that support our readiness for the 70,000 disasters the Red Cross responds to every year, whether they are hurricanes that affect millions of people here or abroad, floods that affect thousands, or a house fire that drives one family from its home.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts between 4 to 6 major hurricanes this year. Major hurricanes are those Category 3, 4, and 5 storms that do the most damage—such as Hurricanes Andrew, Katrina, Rita and Wilma—with winds in excess of 100 miles per hour. More than 35 million people live in regions vulnerable to Atlantic hurricanes, and many in the Gulf Coast region are already experiencing hardship as a result of the oil spill.

While media and public attention comes when a hurricane makes landfall, what’s often missed are the preparations made by the Red Cross to be ready to respond well before the hurricane hits. For example, the Red Cross already has pre-positioned equipment and materials near areas that could be hit by hurricanes.

These preparations cost money. For example, as Hurricane Alex gathered strength in late June and threatened the Gulf coast, the Red Cross deployed 133 people, 17 emergency response vehicles and kitchen equipment to south Texas and put other vehicles and crews on stand-by.

The Red Cross spends about $450 million a year responding to nearly 70,000 disasters across the country – floods, wildfires, tornadoes and home fires.

No other non-governmental organization can respond to disasters on the size and scale of the Red Cross—but the Red Cross depends on donations from the American public to be ready. And we work hard to be excellent stewards of those donor dollars.

That’s why we are asking for help for disaster relief, and we hope that people will respond.  Visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RedCross to support American Red Cross Disaster Response, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Every single donation brings hope to those in need.

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