1 minute readDisaster

The Busy Red Crosser’s Year in Review

As one would expect, the American Red Cross (ARC) tracks and compiles statistics on Disaster Services service delivery, supply use, and personnel contributions. Internally, this data allows the ARC to review where services, supplies, and personnel were most needed during the previous year and anticipate where services, supplies, and personnel will be most needed throughout the coming year.

Externally, this same information provides a platform on which the organization can build a case for support – support in the form of both financial contributions and volunteer participation – to share with individuals, families, nonprofit organizations, and corporations with the potential to become part of the ARC team.

Every year these important statistics are compiled in and presented via the Disaster Services Program Review (DSPR), and last week the DSPR from Fiscal Year 2011 (July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011) arrived in my email inbox. The information in the document, while about seven months old (the fiscal year 2012 document will not be released until after the June 30, 2012 year end), is none-the-less incredibly impressive.

And because it’s easy for all of us Red Crossers to get lost in the day-to-day of what we do for the organization, I’d like to share with you – in a simple, concise manner, in case you didn’t/don’t have time in your busy schedule to read the 28-page-document – some of the big picture numbers made possible by that day-to-day support.


In fiscal year 2011, the American Red Cross responded to:

  • Nearly 63,000 fires
  • Nearly 2,000 floods
  • More than 520 tornadoes
  • Nearly 330 explosions or hazardous materials accidentals
  • More than 160 snowstorms

Additionally, the American Red Cross:

  • Provided food and shelter to nearly 75,000 people
  • Provided individual assistance to more than 90,000 families
  • Provided health and mental health contacts to approximately 95,000 people
  • Deployed more than 20,000 disaster workers
  • Opened 490 shelters
  • Served more than 4 million meals and snacks
  • Provided approximately 2 million clean-up, comfort, and relief supply kits

To be able to respond anywhere at any time, across the country the American Red Cross has at the ready:

  • More than 60,000 trained disaster workers
  • The capability to serve 1 millions meals a day with partner support
  • More than 25 emergency supply warehouses
  • Disaster relief supplies for 500,000 people
  • Cots, blankets, and comfort kits for 350,000 shelter residents
  • More than 40 disaster technology kits (satellite equipment, computers, and phones)
  • A fleet of more than 320 Emergency Response Vehicles
  • More than 150 partnerships with national organizations
  • A National Disaster Operations Center in Washington DC that engages in year-round disaster planning and is equipped to lead National American Red Cross relief operations

Keep up the day-to-day, Red Crossers. Whether you’re balancing budgets, writing press releases, processing volunteer paperwork, or answering the phones, your contributions are part of what makes the big picture – and the incredible numbers above – achievable.

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  1. I am so in awe that it takes my breath away!
    As a Red cross Volunteer for the last ten years, I am continually amazed at how well the Red Cross functions and manages all these horrific disasters.
    Very few organizations can say that they have responded well to so many instant and demanding tasks EVERY DAY.
    Thank you all of you.
    I am so grateful for the many thousands of you who care.
    Kay Bochert. Minneapolis, MN