If there is a destructive tornado, devastating fires or other weather-related issues, the American Red Cross mobilizes to work around the clock to help those in need.
In 2020, it was a record- breaking season for wildfires. According to the American Red Cross, the 2020 wildfire season proved to be one of the worst on record. Starting in August, fires burned millions of acres across multiple states, forcing thousands of people to abandon their homes for their safety. The wildfires also generated hazardous air quality conditions across the country.
How did the Red Cross respond?
The American Red Cross reported on their website that across the western U.S., they were on the ground for months to deliver vital aid for thousands of residents who faced evacuation orders, imminent fire threats and loss amid the pandemic. Red Cross volunteers and employees worked night and day for months to provide safe shelter, meals, water, cleaning supplies, physical and mental health and spiritual care for survivors. The Red Cross also provided immediate financial assistance to help residents address urgent needs for food, clothing, transportation and lodging,
In August 2021, Hurricane Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The devastating storm, according to a New York Times article, made landfall near Port Fourchon just before noon local time and two hours later in Lafourche Parish. More than 500,000 people were without power across Louisiana. The impact of Hurricane Ida on the 16th anniversary of Katrina stirred “painful reminders of the death and devastation it wrought and the psychological scars that still run deep in the city.” (1) Hurricane Ida continued surging from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast.
Trained Red Cross volunteers provided emotional support, health services and spiritual care for people who were coping with Ida’s damaging impact. Hundreds of thousands of meals, snacks and hundreds of thousands of relief items were distributed. Trained Red Crossers came together to support relief efforts in persons or virtually.
In December 2021, at least 24 tornados hit six states in the middle of the night and impacted in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee.
How did the Red Cross respond?
The American Red Cross opened several emergency shelters to provide comfort for people who couldn’t return home. The American Red Cross also assessed the damage in the affected communities to help determine the types of support people may need.
Beloved, Matthew 25:35- 40 says:
“For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
It is these works of mercy, acts of kindness and compassion that the Red Cross have provided for persons who needed them the most. As this article brings this series to a close, let’s continue to keep the employees and volunteers connected to the Red Cross in our prayers and thank God for their untiring service.
1 New York Times, Hurricane Ida Makes Landfall as an Extremely Dangerous Major’ Storm, various contributed reporting.
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