2019: Red Cross aids hundreds of thousands impacted by disasters

NASHVILLE— In the face of this year’s disasters, hundreds of thousands of people turned to the American Red Cross for food, shelter and recovery support in Tennessee and across the country. 

Statewide, more than 2,700 volunteers responded to many different natural disasters including floods, high winds and tornadoes that affected their fellow Tennesseans. In addition, volunteers helped 7,036 people affected by 1,732 home fires in the state by addressing their urgent needs like food and lodging and providing recovery support. 

“This year, local Red Cross volunteers worked around the clock to help neighbors devastated by disasters,” Joel Sullivan, regional executive for the American Red Cross of the Tennessee Region said. “We’re grateful for their selfless commitment and the generous support of donors to fuel our lifesaving mission every day.” 

LOCAL VOLUNTEERS HELP ACROSS THE U.S. When large disasters like the western wildfires, coastal hurricanes and Midwest floods and tornadoes devastated families in other parts of the country this year, hundreds of volunteers from Tennessee were among the nearly 9,000 Red Cross workers — 90% of them volunteers — who left their homes to:

  • Serve over 1.1 million meals and snacks with partners.
  • Distribute over 354,000 relief items.
  • Make over 92,000 contacts to support health, mental health, spiritual care and disability needs.
  • Provide over 79,000 overnight shelter stays with partners. 

Red Cross emergency response vehicles from across the country were among those that traveled more than 900,000 miles nationwide during disasters to deliver relief like food, comfort kits and cleanup supplies to hard-hit neighborhoods this year.  

Across the country, the Red Cross also provided emergency financial assistance to nearly 376,000 people for disaster needs like food and lodging. 

Meanwhile, the Red Cross continues to work with its partners to prevent fire tragedies through its lifesaving Home Fire Campaign, which installed its 2 millionth free smoke alarm in the U.S. this year. In Tennessee, volunteers and local partners installed more than 8,900 free smoke alarms and made more than 3,700 households safer from the threat of home fires during 2019.

HOW YOU CAN HELP – Help people in need by making a financial donation or becoming a volunteer. Learn more at RedCross.org/Tennessee. In addition, this year’s severe weather and disasters caused about 34,000 blood donations to go uncollected across the country because of cancelled blood drives. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, and the Red Cross urges all eligible individuals to donate. Make an appointment at RedCrossBlood.org.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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