Recently, I had a conversation with Mindy Mizell, Director of Media Relations at Red Cross HQ. As you might expect she is concerned about the negative publicity the Red Cross has been receiving in recent months. As readers of this blog, as well as Eric Holdeman’s blog (Disaster-zone.com), know both Eric and I are trying to provide a balanced view of the Red Cross in our postings.
Mindy mentioned that both FEMA and the Red Cross have been extremely busy this calendar year. And she was kind enough to pull together some statistics that show what the Red Cross has done so far this year. Here are the latest stats:
* American Red Cross has responded to 15 major disasters already this 2016, so far 50% more than last year (ie. N. Texas tornadoes, Louisiana floodings, WV floodings, Hurricane Matthew, California wildfires, etc.)
* Since January, volunteers and staff have responded with extraordinary efforts including:
– More than 191,000 overnight stays provided in 604 shelters
– More than 3.6 million meals and snacks
– More than 1.8 million relief items distributed
– More than 27,000 cases opened to provide one-on-one support
* The Red Cross estimates response efforts in 2016 will collectively cost nearly $87 million – but as of Oct 26, we’ve only raised $53 million to cover these events – a gap of nearly $34 million.
* Already this year, the Red Cross has assigned 26,478, compared to 15,840 in 2015 and 9,923 in 2015.
* Since June 2012 when the Red Cross launched its 1st app, there have been 9.2 million downloads of the now 13 mobile apps available.
Update: please see comments from folks in the field.