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Disaster Services

When Richard C.’s* brother and elderly mother were hurt in a devastating apartment fire in Queens, Red Cross responders were on the scene to help them through this difficult time. “One of the Red Cross workers took me aside and told me about what the Red Cross did, and how they could help us out,” Richard recalled. “They immediately gave me food and clothing vouchers for both my mother and my brother, since so many of their possessions had been burned in the fire.”

When Richard’s mother died a few days later from prior illness exasperated by the smoke inhalation, his Red Cross caseworker provided support, and let him know that the Red Cross could also help his family pay for her funeral expenses. Although Richard had known that the Red Cross helped people at large-scale disasters, he hadn’t realized that we also help people affected by residential fires. “I wouldn’t have been able to get through all of this without the Red Cross,” he concluded gratefully. “They came through for us when we really needed them, and they’ve been there every step of the way.”

The American Red Cross in Greater New York operates the busiest disaster response program in the nation, and helps people like Richard every day. Whether it's an apartment fire or a large-scale disaster like the Staten Island Ferry incident, we arrive at emergencies within minutes, 24/7, 365 days a year. We supplement the efforts of city agencies to ensure that the citizens of New York are safe and have the assistance they need. Our volunteers help those affected by disaster with food, clothing and shelter, as well as mental health support and financial assistance. We respond to an average of eight emergencies a day and more than 3,100 emergencies each year.

*name has been changed to protect the privacy of our client

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