The American Red Cross responding to a high number of disasters
(ABC 6 News) – Just this month alone we’ve seen some unthinkable natural disasters across the country. The wildfires in Maui and in the northwest united states, not to mention we’re heading into the hurricane season.
And due to the number of these natural disasters the American Red Cross is concerned. Right now, the Red Cross is actively responding to 26 events across the county. When in past years they have gone a month or better without having to respond to even one. The Red Cross says at most they might responds to 10 events at one time.
One of their concerns is it’s just the beginning of hurricane season and they are running out of volunteers and other resources. Currently, in the Minnesota and Dakotas region alone they have 63 volunteers deployed to disaster areas. They say climate change has played a major role in these numbers.
“The kind of demand that there is for red cross services when this manty things happening at the same time, they are continually growing in intensity. It challenges us to have enough people who are trained and able to go to these disasters and help the people who have been affected,” said Melanie Tschida the executive director of the American Red Cross in Southeast Minnesota
The Red Cross isn’t just responding to natural disaster across the country, they say there’s been an increased response locally as well. Like the rare December tornado in Heartland, just outside of Albert Lea, almost two years ago, not to mention local flooding and storm response.
The Red Cross is concerned the increasing response to disasters is stretching them thin, which creates a challenge to respond to upcoming winter disaster.
“Sometimes it’s pretty short notice like the Rochester Towers situation. I mean we had a shelter set up in two hours. Other time we have a little bit more notice during winter storms and other things we can see coming. We might put some plans in place.,” said Tschida.
The Red Cross says the best way you can help out is by volunteering, donations and also donating blood.