The American Red Cross responds to disasters such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, fires, and other situations that cause human suffering or create human needs that those affected cannot alleviate without assistance. Disaster Services provides for a wide variety of emergency preparation and response actions that include:

Opening and managing emergency shelters when a hurricane or other event occurs that displaces large numbers of people from their homes.

On a daily basis, provides relief for Single Family emergencies, such as fire or flooding, which leaves a family without proper shelter, food, clothing or other emergency needs.

Disaster Education courses for volunteers and the community and respond frequently to requests for information on disaster preparedness at home and in the workplace.

Teaching people how to prepare for and prevent disasters through education, safety, and mitigation activities is an important Red Cross outreach. All disaster services provided by the American Red Cross are free to the community, a gift of the American people.

You can help by becoming a Disaster Services Volunteer.

Emergency Assistance to Families

Disaster Services Events Calendar

Disaster Training Courses

Disaster Services Volunteers

Comments? Suggestions? [email protected]

Each year, the American Red Cross responds immediately to more than 67,000 disasters, including house or apartment fires (the majority of disaster responses), hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hazardous materials spills, transportation accidents, explosions, and other natural and man-made disasters.

The Good News Is That We Can Help

Although the American Red Cross is not a government agency, its authority to provide disaster relief was formalized when, in 1905, the Red Cross was chartered by Congress to "carry on a system of national and international relief in time of peace and apply the same in mitigating the sufferings caused by pestilence, famine, fire, floods, and other great national calamities, and to devise and carry on measures for preventing the same." The Charter is not only a grant of power, but also an imposition of duties and obligations to the nation, to disaster victims, and to the people who generously support its work with their donations.

Red Cross disaster relief focuses on meeting people's immediate emergency disaster-caused needs. When a disaster threatens or strikes, the Red Cross provides shelter, food, and health and mental health services to address basic human needs. In addition to these services, the core of Red Cross disaster relief is the assistance given to individuals and families affected by disaster to enable them to resume their normal daily activities independently.

The Red Cross also feeds emergency workers, handles inquiries from concerned family members outside the disaster area, provides blood and blood products to disaster victims, and helps those affected by disaster to access other available resources.