American Red Cross Releases Top 5 Disasters of 2008

The American Red Cross today announced the top five disasters of 2008, based on the number of people needing shelter, food, and comfort. They are:

  1. Hurricane Dolly
  2. Hurricane Gustav
  3. Hurricane Ike
  4. Midwest Flooding
  5. Indiana Tornadoes

Weather played a disastrous part in many people’s lives in 2008. A record number of tornadoes destroyed homes and memories. The worst flooding in more than a decade inundated the Midwest. Hurricanes followed each other, leaving devastation in their wake. And wildfires sparked by severe dry conditions and high winds blazed several times in the west.

The American Red Cross was there through it all.

“No matter where our help was needed, we were there,” said Joe Becker, Senior Vice President of Disaster Services for the American Red Cross, “But helping those affected by all of these disasters has been costly. We’ve spent all funds contributed for Red Cross Disaster Relief.”

The Red Cross set up almost 900 shelters; served more than 16.5 million meals and snacks; distributed close to 275,000 comfort and clean-up kits, and deployed more than 27,000 Red Cross workers to respond to these five disasters. These numbers do not include the many other disasters which struck across the country, large and small.

Earlier this year, Red Cross launched a $100 million nationwide fundraising campaign — the Campaign for Disaster Relief. As the year draws to a close, Red Cross is asking the public to remember those whose lives are changed in an instant by disaster and make a contribution to the Disaster Relief Fund, which allows us to mobilize volunteers and resources to help communities throughout the United States.

You can make a donation by visiting www.redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Spanish speakers can call 1-800-257-7575. You can also use your cell phone to donate $5 by text messaging the keyword “GIVE” to “2HELP” (24357). If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster, you should call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).

“We thank all those who have supported our disaster relief efforts,” Becker said, “and ask those who have not yet made a donation to please give whatever they can to help us continue to be there with food, shelter, and comfort when disaster strikes.”

For more information on those disasters please visit the Red Cross Online Newsroom.

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