American Red Cross Disaster Relief

American Red Cross Disaster ReliefOn May 21, 1881, Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross (ARC). She had first heard of the International Red Cross while visiting Europe following the American Civil War. Helping during that terrible struggle, she realized the need for a society to help in aiding soldiers wounded in battle. The Red Cross responds to approximately 70,000 disasters in the United States every year, ranging from home fires that affect a single family to hurricanes that affect tens of thousands, to earthquakes that impact millions. In these events, the Red Cross provides shelter, food, health and mental health services to help families and entire communities get back on their feet. Although the Red Cross is not a government agency, it is an essential part of the response when disaster strikes. We work in partnership with other agencies and organizations that provide services to disaster victims. Today the ARC has a variety of roles, the ARC is capable of answering the call and giving whatever aid is needed for any type of disaster. They offer medical services, humanitarian aid, disaster relief and prevention, classes in cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR as it is commonly called, first aid training and classes available to anyone, clothing and food during emergencies, and disaster preparedness training. Volunteers to the ARC come from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds. Irregardless of where a volunteer comes from all are dedicated to one purpose and that is helping others in times of need. The American Red Cross relies on volunteers to the help prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. Volunteers make up over 90 percent of the Disaster workforce and make it possible to respond to nearly 70,000 disasters every year, most of them home and apartment fires. Disaster volunteers also provide preparedness services and information before disaster strikes and assist those who have experienced a disaster with their recovery. The American Red Cross responds to international disasters by sending financial assistance, pre-positioned relief supplies from our global warehouses, trained emergency response personnel, or any combination of the three. And the Red Cross help is not limited to disaster relief; we do other types of humanitarian work with a global impact as well. There are many opportunities for you to get involved, through donating, taking or teaching a class, or volunteering. The American Red Cross is the only non-governmental organization chartered by Congress to provide relief to victims of disaster. Under the Federal Response Plan following a Presidential declaration, the Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) work cooperatively. The American Red Cross is a signatory to the Federal Response Plan and is obligated as an agent of the federal government to coordinate all mass care response assistance through Emergency Support function (EFS) #6. This means the Red Cross is the primary agent designated to provide mass care relief including food, shelter, supplies, first aid and more. The Red Cross also operates a Disaster Welfare Information System for the purpose of reporting victim status and assisting in family reunification. The American Red Cross is dedicated to helping make families and communities safer at home and around the world. A volunteer-led humanitarian service organization operating on a budget of $2.3 billion, the American Red Cross annually mobilizes relief to the victims of more than 60,000 disasters nationwide and has been the primary supplier of lifesaving blood and blood products in the United States for more than 50 years. The Red Cross also trains more than 11.7 million people in vital lifesaving skills, provides direct health services to 2.5 million people, assists international disaster and conflict victims in more than 20 countries, and transmits more than 1.4 million emergency messages to members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. The Red Cross is also taking advantage of social media to get the word out during emergencies. A recent survey sponsored by the organization revealed that nearly a quarter of the general public and a third of the online population would use social media to let loved ones know they’re safe in an emergency. It also found that people use social media during disasters to get updates, seek and give help, and connect to others. The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. Help people affected by disasters by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Read More about It Here

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