The 2018 hurricane season has been extraordinarily active in parts of the U.S., with Hurricane Florence currently impacting millions in the Carolinas. As this natural disaster unfolds, the staff here at VolunteerMatch is doing its part to ensure that, if you are in an affected community, you are prepared and safe. And if you are looking to help with disaster relief efforts, you know about the most effective ways to contribute.
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.
For more than 125 years, the mission of the American Red Cross has been to help individuals and families prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. The Red Cross provides disaster relief assistance to those affected by natural and human-caused disasters. Every day through the American Red Cross, people mobilize to help their neighbors. More than half a million volunteers of the Red Cross, many from communities like yours, help provide these life-changing and often life-saving services.
People affected by disaster need to know that they have a place to stay, food to eat and emotional support as they take the first steps to recovery. Each year, the American Red Cross responds to more than 70,000 disasters nationwide. While the vast majority of these disasters are single-family and apartment home fires, the American Red Cross stands ready to support all affected in their immediate emergency needs.
Red Cross disaster relief focuses on meeting people's urgent disaster-caused needs. When a disaster threatens or strikes, the Red Cross provides shelter, food, health and mental health services, and bulk distribution of needed items to meet the basic human needs of those affected. Red Cross workers also meet one-on-one with clients to provide information and assistance and to connect them to other resources that can help to support their recovery.
Just as every disaster is an intensely personal experience, the American Red Cross believes that a commitment to making our homes and communities safe is also personal. Therefore, the American Red Cross works closely with local, state and national partners to help people personalize their risk to natural hazards and make preparedness a personal priority. The goal is to build a "culture of preparedness" that helps communities become safer and more prepared when disasters strike.