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Epic Flooding Inundates Houston After Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Irma One-Month Progress Report Details American Red Cross Relief Efforts

Oct. 27, 2017
Details Show How Donations are Being Used to Support Relief and Recovery Efforts for Those Affected

The American Red Cross issued a detailed one-month progress report this week on its efforts to provide food, water, shelter, relief supplies, health support, casework services and other aid to people affected by Hurricane Irma.

"This devastating storm hit the southeast only weeks after Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas, and the Red Cross responded to both disasters, providing emergency relief to hundreds of thousands of people. In Florida, people will be recovering from Hurricane Irma for months – if not years – to come," said Brad Kieserman, vice president of Disaster Services Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. "Thanks to the generous support of our donors, the Red Cross was able to provide comfort and support to people with nowhere else to turn, and now we will be there to help them recover and rebuild their lives."

Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys on September 10 as a Category 4 storm, the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since 2005. Before hitting the U.S. mainland, the massive storm carved a path of destruction through the Caribbean, devastating several island countries, including the U.S. Virgin Islands and parts of Puerto Rico. In Florida, Irma caused damage from Naples to Jacksonville and brought flooding and wind damage across the southeast as far as Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas.

Today, communities impacted by the storm continue to recover, and the Red Cross is working with government and local partners to help residents connect with critical services and resources they need to get back on their feet.

In addition, the American Red Cross has provided aid to Caribbean nations impacted by Hurricane Irma, which includes making a $100,000 contribution for Red Cross disaster relief in St. Kitts and Nevis and Antigua and Barbuda—and $200,000 towards Red Cross relief efforts in Cuba.


As of Oct. 10, the Red Cross raised $56.4 million in designated donations for the Irma relief effort. All donations earmarked for Hurricane Irma will be used to support relief and recovery efforts for this disaster. Learn more about how donations are helping in this video or in our detailed report. The following are examples of how donations are being used:

  • Donations pay for provision and delivery of food, shelter and relief items, accounting for $29.6 million of our preliminary budget estimate. In the first month, the Red Cross served more than 1.5 million meals and snacks, provided nearly 650,000 overnight stays in shelters, and distributed more than 1 million relief items.
  • Donations pay for health and mental health services, accounting for $1.7 million of our preliminary budget estimate. In the first month, the Red Cross provided more than 49,000 services to support and care for people.
  • Donations pay for immediate financial assistance, accounting for $7.8 million of our preliminary budget estimate. To help people recover and get back on their feet, the Red Cross has opened more than 11,000 cases, reaching more than 37,000 people across Florida.
  • Donations pay for individual and community recovery programs, accounting for $12.2 million of our preliminary budget estimate. The Red Cross is working alongside our community partners to plan for long-term recovery services, such as additional financial assistance for people who need extra help with their recovery efforts and programs to help the hardest-hit communities rebound and prepare for future disasters.
  • Donations pay to transport, lodge and feed thousands of trained disaster workers who work in shelters, drive food trucks, hand out relief supplies, replace medications and eyeglasses, provide emotional support and coordinate with local officials.
  • Donations pay for the freight and warehousing expenses that enable the Red Cross to provide cots and blankets for people in shelters, and the hundreds of tractor-trailer loads of relief items we've given out to help people clean up their homes.
  • Donations pay for the equipment, maintenance and fueling of emergency vehicles that deliver meals and relief items to people in need.
  • Donations also pay for the full-time program staff, disaster information technology, communications and call center infrastructure that make all of this help possible for Hurricane Irma.
  • Donations also pay for our management, general and fundraising expenses that support our work at its core and are indispensable to running the organization and helping people in need. They include the people and systems to maintain our enterprise-wide computer and telecommunications, HR and payroll systems to support our more than 20,000 employees and nearly 314,000 volunteers, fundraising and communications functions, and other support services across all program lines.

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