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American Red Cross
Disaster Relief Services

Disaster Services
About Disaster Services

Each year, the American Red Cross responds to more than 66,000 disasters -- home fires, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, hazardous material spills, explosions and other natural and man-made disasters.  And the number of disasters has increased steadily over the past five years.

Thought not a government agency, the American Red Cross authority to perform disaster services was formalized when the Red Cross was chartered by Congress in 1900 to mitigate the suffering caused by disasters.  The organization's prompt action is clearly expected by the public.

Red Cross chapters also work in their communities to help the public prepare for and cope  with disasters.  The Red Cross provides information to help people plan and prepare for specific types of disasters, prevent injuries, save lives and reduce the loss of property.

Red Cross disaster relief focuses on meeting the immediate emergency  needs of the people affected by disaster.  The core of Red Cross disaster relief activities is the assistance given to individuals and families affected by disaster.  This assistance enables victims of disasters to resume living independently by providing the means to pay for what theyroviding the means to pay for what they need most, such as groceries, new clothing, temporary housing, emergency home repairs, transportation, basic household items, medicines and occupational tools.  In addition, we handle inquires from concerned family members outside of the disaster area and help those affected by disaster to find other available resources.  The Red Cross also helps those in need of long-term recovery assistance when all other resources, such as insurance benefits and government assistance, are not available or are inadequate to complete the recovery process.

All assistance is given on an individual basis and is based on the verified disaster-related needs.  All Red Cross disaster relief assistance is provided free of charge as a gift from the American people.  It is made possible by generous contributions of people's time, money and skills.

News of Interest

Tornado season is year-round in our area. Historically, spring & winter are very active times of year for the American Red Cross because of tornadoes. We not only help people after they have been affected by a disaster, we try to help them prepare for it well in advance. Since tornadoes are such a constant threat to our area, there are some dangerous myths about tornadoes that the American Red Cross would like to set straight:

       Myth # 1:   I should open a window if a tornado is coming.
       Fact:  Research has shown that buildings do not explode from the low air pressure of a tornado, so opening windows is unnecessary.   In fact, opening windows increases the chance of high winds entering and causing damage in your home and exposing you to injury.

        Myth #2:    I can outdrive a tornado.
        Fact:   You can't. A tornado can pick up cars and toss them about like toys. If you are in a car and a tornado is coming, get  out and go to a  substantial building. If none is available, lie flat in a ditch anilable, lie flat in a ditch and cover your head.

    For more information on Preparing Your Family For a Disaster, click here.

Being safe in a disaster is all about being prepared. For more information on preparing your family for a disaster, visit our Safety Tips section, or call us at (318) 865-9545.