Katrina Efforts Continue Red Cross

Facts At A Glance
American Red Cross Response to Hurricane Katrina

The American Red Cross continues to respond at full capacity to this unprecedented natural catastrophe.
Situation Updates: This disaster relief operation is constantly changing. All numbers are approximate.

Red Cross Help for Survivors

Estimated Cost The American Red Cross estimates that Hurricane Katrina relief efforts will exceed
$2 billion
, meeting the urgent needs of nearly one million families in three key areas:
Food and Shelter — $744 million
Emergency Financial Assistance to Disaster Survivors — $1.4 billion
Physical and Mental Health Services — $78 million
Read the Sept.19 announcement…
As of 10/04/05, approximately $1.3 billion has been spent or committed for hurricane relief efforts. This includes money that has been spent or committed: $854 million in financial assistance; $110 million in food and sheltering; $100 million on transient hotel accommodations and lodging expenses.
Financial Assistance The Red Cross has expanded its efforts to provide financial assistance to upwards of three quarters of a million Hurricane Katrina victims dispersed across the nation. Assistance is provided in a variety of ways, including client assistance cards, vouchers, checks and cash.
As of 10/04/05,, the Red Cross has distributed financial assistance to more than 920,000 families
(3 million hurricane survivors).
Survivors can register for emergency financial assistance, 24 hours a day, by calling toll-free 1-800-975-7585. Due to the large number of survivors, phone lines may be overwhelmed.
Shelters/Temporary Housing Since Hurricane Katrina made landfall, the Red Cross has provided more than 3.2 million overnight stays in 1150 shelters across 27 states and the District of Columbia.

The Central Maryland Chapter is prepared to receive evacuees if and when FEMA decides to send them to us.

Since Hurricane Katrina made landfall, the Red Cross has provided hurricane survivors with more than 3.2 million overnight stays in 1,150 shelters across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
In one night alone, 10/03/05, the Red Cross housed more than 483,000 people in hotels/motels in 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Local Relief Workers and Volunteers Nearly 330 Central Maryland volunteers have been trained and deployed and another 1,000 will have been trained and deployed before December.
We still need desperately.
Feeding Operations The Red Cross, in coordination with the Southern Baptist Convention, has served more than 20 million hot meals and more than 13 million snacks to survivors of Hurricane Katrina.
Reuniting Families Persons looking for loved ones can call 1-877-LOVED 1S (1-877-568-3317),
or go to www.redcross.org and click on “Family Links Registry” to:
Register yourself
Register a loved one, or
View the existing list of registrants
More than 288,000 names have been registered online.
Health & Preventative Care Visit www.redcross.org or www.cdc.gov for information about health strategies and preventative measures for those in affected areas.
Disaster Mental Health To date, more than 520,000 people have received Red Cross Disaster Mental Health services.

How to Help

To Volunteer Contact your local Red Cross chapter to become a volunteer. Well-meaning individuals are urged not to report directly to the affected areas.

To Donate

Making a financial contribution is the best way to help, to donate:


Call 1-800-HELP NOW or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish)
Make at secure, online donation at www.redcross.org
Visit an Official Red Cross (Cash) Donation Site (retailer locations or online)
Contact your local Red Cross chapter
View additional Red Cross Donation Tips
Funds Received
(As of Sept. 23, 2005)
The Red Cross has received $1.1 billion in gifts and pledges for the hurricane relief effort, of which approximately 33 percent is in pledges and an estimated $348 million has been received online.


The Red Cross has a four-star rating from Charity Navigator for its effective use of donations. At least 91 cents of every dollar donated to the American Red Cross goes directly to assist disaster victims.
Additional Resources & Information – To learn more about the coordination of efforts among the many organizations and agencies helping hurricane survivors and for additional resources, visit www.usafreedomcorps.gov.
September 21


The Red Cross response to Hurricane Katrina will be the costliest in its history. Our current estimates put this cost at more than $2 billion.

The Red Cross expects to meet the emergency needs of nearly one million families in three key areas:

  • Food and Shelter-$744 million
    To date, the Red Cross has provided more than 2.2 million overnight stays in 902 shelters across the country. Nearly 12 million hot meals and 8.2 million snacks have been served. More than 138,000 Red Cross disaster relief workers nationwide are setting up shelters, processing and distributing supplies, and preparing and distributing food and water.
  • Emergency Financial Assistance to Disaster Survivors-$1.4 billion
    The Red Cross has already provided $337 million in emergency financial assistance to more than 358,000 families. This emergency assistance helps survivors purchase items that are urgently needed such as food, clothing, and other essentials.
  • Physical and Mental Health Services-$78 million
    More than 386,000 Hurricane Katrina survivors have received Red Cross disaster mental health services, prescription replacement, and first-aid services delivered by trained mental health professionals and volunteer nurses.

Because of the magnitude of this disaster, the Red Cross also estimates that the management-related costs associated with this relief effort will likely amount to less than the approximately nine percent for a typical operation. These costs include activities such as volunteer recruitment, administering the financial assistance program, legal and auditing fees, fundraising and communications.

  • We have no intention of raising a single dollar more than we need for the Katrina response, and will announce when we have raised sufficient funds.
  • In similar vein, the Red Cross adopted a policy two weeks ago to NOT be the sole beneficiary of any Katrina telethons, instead insisting that they benefit other organizations like the Salvation Army.
  • In recognition of the immense need left by Hurricane Katrina, the Red Cross has been saying from the start that the survivors will require the engagement of the entire charity sector, community groups and government at every level. Communities must come together to help nearly one million people rebuild their lives.
  • We have raised approximately $800 million to date. We have spent more than $500 million on survivors and evacuees so far, and are providing tens of millions of dollars in assistance each day.
  • Official Red Cross policy known as “Donor Direct” ensures that contributions are always restricted to the need specified by the donor.

Red Cross Response

  • Comparing the number of individuals served, the Red Cross response to Katrina is at least 20 times greater than for all the combined hurricanes of 2004. From top to bottom, Red Cross resources are taxed to the limit and we are using every tool at our disposal to help the survivors.
  • The enormity of the two events-Katrina itself and the resulting flooding of New Orleans-covers a geographic area the size of the United Kingdom.
  • The Red Cross is providing service in every place we can possibly be in the affected area, but not every place we want to be: we are making every attempt given our stretched resources to help everyone we can.
  • We have tried to do the greatest good for the greatest number of victims. We have provided more than 12 million hot meals and places to sleep for 2.3 million people to date.
  • We have been truthful, asking the nation for patience as we get financial assistance to victims who are now scattered to nearly every state in the union. We have provided more than 384,000 families with assistance.
  • More than 131,000 Red Cross workers across the country from all 50 states are working long hours every day doing their best to help Katrina’s victims.


September 16, 2005

Staff and volunteers of the Central Maryland Red Cross will gather at their headquarters (4800 Mt. Hope Drive), Monday, September 19th at 10 a.m. to welcome their boss back from three weeks in hurricane ravaged Mississippi.

Central Maryland Red Cross Executive Director Frank Miller left for Mississippi before Katrina’s winds had even died down. Miller worked along side an army of other Red Crossers to help survivors with food, clothing, shelter and shoulders to lean on. He sent back regular emails from the field to Baltimore, describing what he was doing and the people he met. At one point he told his staff that he had to quit writing before he started to cry again.

“We’ve been working hard here in Baltimore to help hurricane survivors who’ve migrated from down South,” said Acting Director Robert Hoguet. “It will be wonderful to see Frank again and hear stories from the impacted area.”

To schedule a media interview with Frank Miller, please call Laura Dennis, 410-624-2083.

Sept. 8, 2005

In addition to the 200 disaster relief volunteers from Maryland currently deployed and providing assistance to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, 35 more will be joining them Friday. These volunteers are the first to complete our 1-day crash course on providing disaster relief and mass care held just yesterday and they have committed to a 3-week deployment fully aware that the environment they will be working under is wrought with hardship conditions.

The number of fundraising events continues to grow and we encourage anyone interested in putting one together, please email .org with the specifics and request a contract that will make it all legal.


more on Katrina



Stories of Katrina evacuees and pet rescue
To locate a loved one: 1-877-LOVED-1S
 Locally for A Day
By The Numbers: Facts and Figures
Fundraising Ideas: Fundraiserhelp.com
To open your home to hurricane victims: www.swern.gov
Why the Red Cross cannot accept material goods
A Survivor’s Story – First 9/11 then Katrina
What you can do to helpOther Recent News
What you can do to help:
Donate Funds:

  • Because the Red Cross is on the scene as the tragedy unfolds and providing assistance before the full extent of the catastrophe has been tallied, we need cash donations so that we can respond to each situation and each need accordingly.
     We cannot accept donations of material goods because our mission is to provide vital necessities on the spot according to the disaster. Further, we must be accountable–able to vouch for every single item we distribute and to verify, without a doubt, its source. We cannot risk losing the public’s trust.
     The Red Cross responds to a disaster every eight minutes. In central Maryland, the Red Cross responds to two to three disasters daily.
     Most disasters don’t make the news, but are equally devastating to someone who loses everything.
     Funds are urgently needed so that the Red Cross is able to respond to every disaster at the time of the disaster.
     Donate online at /Chapter/donateform.html or send your contribution to
    American Red Cross
    P. O. Box Disaster Relief,
    Baltimore, MD 21263-0550.

Give Blood:

  • Visit www.my-redcross.org for a list of blood drives in your area.
     Each donation of blood helps save three lives.
     Red Cross donation centers are open extended hours to accept your donation. Call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE to schedule a donation.


  • Without volunteers emergency disaster relief could not be provided to those in crisis.
  • Volunteers are the reason the Red Cross is able to be there on the scene as the disaster unfolds. Email us at or call 624-2023 to schedule an appointment.

To open your home to hurricane victims: the Baltimore City Government (http://www.ci.baltimore.md.us/news/press/050903.html or 443-263-2220) and the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (toll-free 1-888-297-8685). LOCAL RED CROSS SAYS “THANKS,” URGES CAUTION IN MAKING HURRICANE DONATIONS

The Red Cross of Central Maryland would like to thank you for your generous donations to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, the largest mobilization of this organization’s resources for a single natural disaster. It involves thousands of trained disaster relief workers, tons of supplies and shoulders to lean on.

“Because of the overwhelming generosity of Baltimore area donors, businesses and other organizations, it may take a while for everyone to receive acknowledgement letters and tax receipts,” cautioned Lenore Koors, a fundraiser for the Central Maryland Chapter.

She also said that donors should beware of scams, people representing Red Cross volunteers who are not authorized to collect funds. “We are not sending people door-to-door or allowing them to stand on street corners,” she said. “Every group that collects money has signed an agreement with the Red Cross of Central Maryland, and should be able to produce that agreement if requested.”

The following internet sites serve as locations where members of the public can make contributions to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund: Convio, American.Redcross.org, MSN, Network for Good, Amazon.com, Apple I Tunes, and Yahoo!
Individual donors may call 1-800-HELP-NOW to phone in their contributions.

Sept. 17, 2005
Victim Assistance in Maryland: In an effort to provide a one-stop shopping resource for victims of Katrina who have found or are seeking shelter and/or other assistance in Maryland, the Red Cross has partnered with the City of Baltimore to set up a central location at the “Du” Burns Arena in Canton. The service center will bring together the non-profit organizations and governemental agencies that are working to help the victims of Katrina. The arena is located at 1301 Ellwood Avenue, Baltimore MD 21224.Dispatching Additional Volunteers: Tonight, 20 additional volunteers from the Red Cross of Central Maryland will be deploying to the Gulf Coast region. Last Wednesday, 65 volunteers from across the State agreed to take an intense, one-day disaster-response training class and then deploy for a three-week stint at a moment’s notice. These determined volunteers have been advised of the difficult, primitve conditions under which they will be working and, yet, have expressed only happiness at being able to help.By the Numbers: Facts and figure about our response to this disasterSept. 6, 2005
The Red Cross of Central Maryland has been providing food, clothing, shelter, nursing and mental health services to 150 people displaced by last week’s hurricane who have traveled to the Baltimore metropolitan area. Eighty-five Red Cross workers have been involved in helping the 45 families.September 5, 2005
The National Red Cross Response
The Red Cross continues to meet the challenge of providing relief to tens of thousands of survivors of Hurricane Katrina,
 which plowed a wide path of destruction through the Gulf Coast just one week ago.
o Since Hurricane Katrina first slammed ashore in Florida, the American Red Cross has housed 142,000 survivors in more than 485 shelters in 18 states.
o The American Red Cross has served more than 3.3 million hot meals to survivors
of Hurricane Katrina since before first landfall.
o More than 5,600 trained Red Cross workers have left their homes in every corner of the United States to join thousands of local volunteers who responded immediately to help their neighbors in need.
o In the wake of a catastrophic disaster, the potential for illness and injury is heightened. Storm survivors are particularly vulnerable due to flood conditions, damaged sanitation and water treatment systems. Simple precautions include: Washing hands regularly with soap or using hand sanitation products; avoiding flood waters; draining standing water; protecting yourself from mosquitoes For additional information, visit www.redcross.org or ww.cdc.gov.
The American Red Cross, with 125 years of disaster response experience, is implementing innovative technology to provide faster, better service to victims.
o Hundreds of computers are being delivered to the Astrodome in Houston as well as shelters across the country, where they will be used to register shelter residents.
o Evacuees and loved ones separated by this disaster should go to www.redcross.org or call 1-877-LOVED-1S to join the “Family Linking Registry.” To date, more than 105,000 people have registered.
o The best way to help is by making an online contribution by visiting redcross-cmd.org. You can also help by calling 1-800-HELP-NOW.
>> The sheer volume of people affected, as well as the extensive geographical area impacted will require long-term massive feeding and sheltering operations for
many months to come. Remember, 90,000 square miles have been affected—about the same size as Great Britain.
>> The Disaster Relief Fund enables the Red Cross, through its network of nearly 900 local chapters, to provide immediate shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to people in need due to this disaster and thousands of other disasters across the country each year.
>>The Red Cross is unable to accept small, individual donations or collections of items such as clothing, food or cleaning supplies.September 5, 2005
IT Establishes 24/7 Disaster Operations Support Center

The American Red Cross National Headquarters Information Technology Group has established an IT Disaster Operations Support Center in response to Hurricane Katrina. The specific role for the IT center is to provide central coordination for all the IT activities supporting Hurricane Katrina relief operations, including the generous donations of help from our IT partners. Its mission is to provide technical capability as quickly and securely as possible to our relief workers.

The IT Disaster Operations Support Center is located at the 18th Street Building on Red Cross Square in Washington, D.C., in the LL20 Conference Room. You can contact the center at (202) 303-5520 or 1-888-520-1150; email [email protected]. The telephone lines are staffed 24/7. Every IT request and offer of help must go through this operations center.

September 2, 2005


Maryland’s Red Cross chapters from across the state are demonstrating a very high level of commitment to providing disaster relief to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Within a critically short period of time, we have deployed over 200 volunteers to the relief operation and more volunteers and staff members will follow after they receive disaster response training. Five of our Emergency Relief Vehicles have mobilized and are on the scene or in route.

Already we have received over 250 calls from people wanting to volunteer with the Red Cross and over 30 have agreed to deploy to the site for at least 3 weeks of hardship conditions.

As the Red Cross continues to provide food, clothing, shelter and mental health counseling to over 70,000 left homeless by Katrina, that number grows by the minute. The Red Cross and the Southern Baptists are currently able to provide over 500,000 meals a day and are increasing our capacity steadily.

In communities throughout Maryland we have seen a surge in compassion for the victims of this tragedy that echoes their response to the tsunami. People have come forward to contribute to the Red Cross Disaster Response Fund, to donate blood and to inquire about volunteer opportunities. Through your support of the Red Cross, you are participating in that spirit of compassion.

Our goal is to continue to provide these life saving services for as long as we are needed but we can’t do it without you. The American Red Cross is encouraging everyone to give whatever they can to help mitigate this tragedy and help the victims of this crisis get back on their feet. Please call 1-800-HELP-NOW and give what you can.