RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) 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 Eastern NC and across the country.
Locally, 1,420 eastern North Carolina volunteers responded to 1,235 local disasters.
Hurricane Dorian is one of those disasters, however, the majority of those disasters were home fires.
Volunteers in 53 counties, from the Triangle to the coast, helped 4,471 people affected by the disaster in 2019.
Red Cross disaster volunteers arrive on-the-scene of home fires to meet with displaced families.
Volunteers address their urgent needs like food and lodging and providing recovery support.
As of November 30, the Red Cross provided over $885,000 in direct financial assistance to 1,495 families affected by these disasters in 53 ENC counties.
“This year, local Red Cross volunteers worked around the clock to help neighbors devastated by disasters,” Barry Porter, Regional Chief Executive Officer, Eastern North Carolina Region. “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 Hurricane Dorian, western wildfires, coastal hurricanes, Midwest floods, and tornadoes devastated families in other parts of the country this year,167 volunteers from Eastern NC were among the nearly 9,000 Red Cross workers — 90 percent of them volunteers — who left their homes to:
- Serve over 1.1 million meals and snacks with partners
- Distribute over 354,000 relief items
- Makeover 92,000 contacts to support health, mental health, spiritual care, and disability needs
- Provide over 79,000 overnight shelter stays with partners
Across the country, the Red Cross also provided emergency financial assistance to nearly 376,000 people for disaster needs like food and lodging.
Many ENC volunteers are like Darryll Maddux, who routinely responds to home fires — which account for most of the 60,000-plus disasters that the Red Cross responds to each year in the U.S.
“People don’t even know how important an organization like the Red Cross can be,” he said, “and what it represents during people’s worst time. Basically, it’s hope. They don’t care who you are. They just know you need help.”
Meanwhile, the Red Cross continues to work with its partners to prevent fire tragedies through its lifesaving Home Fire Campaign, which installed its 2 millionths free smoke alarm in the U.S. this year.
In ENC, the Red Cross and local partners installed 5,254 free smoke alarms and made 2,309 households safer from the threat of home fires during 2019. In July 2019, two lives were saved in a Jacksonville home fire because of smoke alarms that the Red Cross and partners installed in 2017.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is a statewide Home Fire Campaign partner with the American Red Cross.
In 2018, Blue Cross NC committed to the installation of 36,000 smoke alarms in homes across North Carolina over three years and has been a critical partner in mission delivery to end home fires.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Help people in need by making a financial donation or becoming a volunteer.
Learn more at RedCross.org/ENC.
In addition, this year’s severe weather and disasters caused about 34,000 blood donations to go uncollected across the country because of canceled 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.