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2017 disaster responses keep Oregon Red Cross responders busy


In 2017, the American Red Cross in Oregon and Southwest Washington saw double-digit increases in disaster relief responses, families helped following a disaster and deployments of responders to disaster relief operations, when compared to 2016.

From January 1, 2017, to date, the local Red Cross has responded to 764 disasters (a 13 percent increase over last year), helped 1,218 families (a 26 percent increase over last year) and deployed 366 disaster relief responders (a 74 percent increase over last year).

“Wildfires here at home, multiple hurricanes in the Southeast and wildfires in California have resulted in more people in need of help,” said Candace Horter, CEO of the Red Cross Cascades Region. “The Red Cross was and will continue to be there to deliver aid in the weeks and months to come.”

In just 45 days, the American Red Cross responded to six of the year’s largest and most complex disasters. This included back-to-back hurricanes — Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate — the deadliest week of wildfires in California history and the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history in Las Vegas.

In total, the Red Cross provided more food, relief items and overnight shelter stays than in the past four years combined. The Red Cross mobilized 56,000 disaster workers from across the nation — 92 percent volunteers — to provide help after 242 significant disasters such as wildfires, floods, tornadoes and other emergencies in 45 states and three territories. This aid included:
Opening 1,100 emergency shelters to provide 658,000 overnight stays
Serving 13.6 million meals and snacks
Distributing 7 million relief items
Providing 267,000 health and mental health contacts
Supporting 624,000 households with recovery assistance

The American Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that relies on the generosity of donors in order to fulfill our mission. Despite this close relationship with the federal government, the
American Red Cross is not a federal agency and does not receive regular federal funding to carry out services and programs.

“As 2017 comes to a close, please consider making a year-end contribution to the Red Cross,” Horter said. “Your gift helps your friends, your neighbors or perhaps even you to recover after a disaster.”

Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Donations can be made at or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS. Donations are tax deductible.

$10 provides one hot meal and additional snacks to a person – These nourishing meals, which include a main course, snacks and a drink, are provided by Red Cross workers and distributed at shelters or in communities via mobile kitchens in emergency response vehicles.
$20 provides comfort supplies for two families of four – These supplies are stored and ready for distribution nationwide. Comfort kits contain deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, facial tissues, wash cloth, shampoo, liquid soap, lotion, comb, razor and shaving cream.
$50 provides a full day of food and shelter for one person – This service includes providing breakfast, lunch and dinner, the costs to mobilize and distribute a cot, two blankets and a comfort kit as well as the costs to support the Red Cross workers providing this service.
$200 provides a full day of food and shelter to a family of four – This service includes providing breakfast, lunch and dinner, the costs to mobilize and distribute a cot, two blankets and a comfort kit as well as the costs of Red Cross workers to provide this service.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or find us on Facebook at, Twitter at @RedCrossCasc and find us on Instagram at @RedCrossCascades.

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