INDIANA REGION — In an unusually busy year, the American Red Cross helped hundreds of thousands of people impacted by disasters in 2015, both here at home and around the globe. Red Cross disaster workers responded to 176 large U.S. disasters — more than each of the past three years.
The cost of just the four largest of these disasters is more than $30 million — this includes flooding in Texas and South Carolina, wildfires in California and Typhoon Soudelor, which battered the island of Saipan in August; (Saipan is part of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific).
Here in the Indiana Region, the Red Cross launched relief operations after spring storms and floods struck the state. “This disaster affected many people’s lives here in Indiana, said Ann Gregson, disaster public affairs spokesperson. “Red Cross workers worked tirelessly to make sure people had a safe place to stay, food to eat, and help planning their next steps.”
“Whether a disaster affects just one family or thousands of families, the Red Cross is committed to helping people get back on their feet as quickly as possible,” added Gregson. “But we need your support now to continue providing help to families affected by disasters.” The Red Cross depends on generous financial donations to provide services.
Across the country, the Red Cross provided more than 34,000 overnight shelter stays to people forced from their homes because of disasters, served more than 1.1 million meals and snacks and distributed more than 800,000 relief items this year (as of Dec. 8). Red Cross caseworkers provided recovery support to more than 19,000 households, and health and mental health workers provided more than 65,000 consultations after disasters.
As part of the world’s largest humanitarian network, the American Red Cross also worked alongside other Red Cross and Red Crescent societies to support families in Nepal after the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake there in April. Across the world, the Red Cross continues to address the needs of displaced families from Burundi, people facing food insecurity in Senegal, and is assisting with the ongoing migration crisis in Europe.
In May and June, the Red Cross responded across multiple states to help people impacted by flooding and wildfires. Residents of Texas, Alaska, California, Arizona, Indiana, Ohio, Oklahoma and Illinois turned to the Red Cross for help.
Amidst all of these devastating events, home fires continued to be the largest disaster threat in the United States. During 2015, the Red Cross provided casework assistance to help 214,000 people whose lives were affected by a home fire. The Red Cross also helped prevent home fires and related injuries and deaths by working with thousands of local partners across the country to install 195,000 smoke alarms and teach 268,000 youth about fire safety.
Here in the Indiana Region, the Red Cross has assisted more than 700 families after homes fires and installed closed to 4,000 smoke alarms with the help of community partners.
The Red Cross depends on the support of the American public to assist people affected by disasters. If you would like to help, consider making a donation today by visiting www.redcross.org, calling (800) 733-2767 or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.