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BACKGROUND ON THE AMERICAN RED CROSS

BACKGROUND ON THE AMERICAN RED CROSS

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Published by CBS11
In response to an inquiry from CBS 11 Investigative Reporter, Mireya Villarreal, the American Red Cross compiled the following information.
In response to an inquiry from CBS 11 Investigative Reporter, Mireya Villarreal, the American Red Cross compiled the following information.

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Published by: CBS11 on Jun 28, 2013
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American Red Cross
June 11, 2013
 In response to an inquiry from CBS11 Investigative Reporter, Mireya Villarreal, the AmericanRed Cross has compiled the following information.
Summary:
The Red Cross relies on financial donations to help disaster victims, anywhere,anytime. Donations allow the Red Cross to provide shelter to people who have lost everything,deliver food and relief supplies from response vehicles driving through neighborhoods, and tohave trained mental health workers available. They allow Red Cross caseworkers to meet one-on-one with families to help develop individualized recovery plans and provide additionalassistance to help people get back on their feet
and enable us to support long-termcommunity recovery activities. Donations also are used to support the vehicles, warehousesand people that make our relief possible.The American Red Cross responds to an average of 70,000 disasters each year in the UnitedStates, spending an estimated $345 million each year preparing for and responding across thecountry. In Texas alone, Red Cross relief workers respond to an average of 4,300 disasters eachyear
 –
ranging from large disasters such as wildfires, tornadoes, floods, explosions andhurricanes, to apartment fires and individual home fires. Just in the past two months alone, theRed Cross has responded to tornadoes, floods, explosions and fires in Texas. This documentfocuses on only five Texas disasters out of the thousands we respond to each year.The Red Cross spent an estimated $2.4 million and raised $2 million in designated donationscombined for four of the largest disasters affecting Texans over the past two years. The fourlargest disasters in this total are the Granbury and Cleburne tornado outbreak in May 2013, theexplosion in West in April 2013, the Possum Kingdom wildfires in April 2011 and the Bastropwildfires in September 2011.
It’s important to note that because the Red Cross is still involved
with helping the communities of Granbury, Cleburne, West and Bastrop (and surroundingareas) recover, our cost figures for these disasters are still estimates until all of our work is
completed and the bills are officially tallied. It’s possible that our costs for these operations
could go up.The Red Cross also responded to a Dallas-Ft. Worth tornado outbreak in 2012 but the figuresare not included in the above totals. We spent $205,000 on this response, but did not receiveor solicit any designated donations specifically for that disaster. Instead, donations for overalldisaster relief paid for this response.
North Texas Region4800 Harry Hines Blvd.Dallas, Texas 75235(214) 678-4800www.redcross.org/dfw 
 
 
Disaster Relief Donations
: Financial contributions to Red Cross Disaster Relief allow us to servevictims of nearly 70,000 disasters, anywhere, anytime. Every 8 minutes, the American Red Crosshelps a family affected by a home fire or other disaster like a tornado or flood
 –
each onedevastating to the people involved. While big, well-publicized wildfires and hurricanes oftenbring millions into the Red Cross, small and medium-sized disasters often do not. The Red Crossencourage donations to Disaster Relief because undesignated donations allow us to helpdisaster victims, anywhere, anytime.
Designated Donations
: Less than a handful of disasters each year in Texas receive enoughmedia coverage to spark the public to designate funds to that particular disaster. Donationsdesignated for a specific disaster are the first dollars used for that disaster. On rare occasions, if there are funds remaining, they will be used to serve people affected by other disasters. Thishas been Red Cross donor policy for a number of years.
Relief Services
: The Red Cross is a part of local Texas communities before, during and afterdisasters. That is the case yesterday, today, tomorrow and will continue well into the future.This local presence means that the Red Cross can spring into immediate action when anemergency occurs, such as a fertilizer plant blowing up or an EF-4 tornado ripping through asmall town. Our first priority is to get people the help they need. Shelters are opened. RedCross relief vehicles make their way up and down streets for days handing out food and relief items. Red Cross health and mental health workers canvass neighborhoods checking on thewell-being of residents. Next, we help families get back on their feet, which takes more timeand is less visible than shelters and food trucks.For example, Red Cross workers meet one-on-one with families to connect them to socialservice programs and housing solutions. We help people fill out important paperwork or findchild care resources. This support involves going family to family assessing needs andidentifying solutions -
and this takes time. It’s also not as easy to see this type of service, but it’s
 just as critical to the recovery of both the families and the community.
 
If anyone impacted by the recent disasters still needs help, contact us at 1-800-RED CROSS.
For locations that don’t have a permanent Red Cross office, such as in West, Texas, the
American Red Cross established a temporary headquarters at the First United MethodistChurch in West, Texas and operated from that facility for more than three consecutive weeks.Today, Red Cross services remain available at the Long Term Recovery Center in West, 218 N.Main, West, Texas 76691, by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or the Red Cross office in Waco at 254-523-4985.
Long Term Recovery
: It only takes minutes for a tornado to wipe out a town, but it takes yearsto put that town back together. After large-scale disasters, affected families could have needsfor years to come.To help recovery efforts, long-term planning groups come together to identify any unmetdisaster needs. These groups can be made up of dozens of non-profit groups, government
 
agencies, churches and schools. This collaborative effort helps identify what people need andwhat resources are available and can continue for months, or sometimes years.The Red Cross is an active participant in long-term recovery after most large disasters. Long-term recovery needs are different for each
disaster and it’s too early to know what role the Red
Cross will play for the recent tornado outbreak and the explosion. As an example, the Red Crosshas provided recovery support after other disasters by helping with lingering health needs,replacing durable medical equipment, minor home repairs or replacing appliances. Recent largedisasters in Texas are all at different points in the long-term recovery process and Red Crossinvolvement also varies.
Accountability
: An average of .91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested inhumanitarian services and programs like providing disaster relief. Donations are used toprovide food, shelter, emotional support, relief items and other assistance, as well as thevehicles, warehouses and people that make relief possible. The Red Cross only use a small sliceof every dollar to support general operations to keep the Red Cross running such as informationtechnology, fundraising, finance, HR and communications.The Red Cross compares favorably with other nonprofits and is accredited by the BetterBusiness Bureaus (BBB) and has a 3-star rating with Charity Navigator.
One of the BBB’s
standards for accountability is that a charity should spend at least 65 percent of total expenseson program activities. The Red Cross vastly outperforms on this measure. We encourage donorsto review our rankings with watchdog organizations and view our audited financial reports onredcross.org.
 

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