USA Disaster Relief

Note: The following appeal is now closed.  You can support our ongoing work by donating to the Canadian Red Cross


The Red Cross responds to more than 70,000 disasters in the United States every year. It has been a record year for disasters in the United States including tornadoes, early wildfires, floods and an unusually active tropical storm season which is not over yet. Long-term recovery efforts are underway for disasters ranging from the Midwest flooding to Hurricane Ike.

When disaster strikes, the Red Cross response is immediate. Within hours, we can address basic human needs for shelter, food, health services and mental health assistance. With the recent hurricanes more than 20,000 Red Cross disaster workers provided in excess of 12 million meals and snacks, hosted over 385 000 overnight guests in shelters and handed out more than 208,000 comfort and clean-up kits. As help is still being provided, these numbers continue to climb.

The American Red Cross continues to help all those affected by disasters, despite reports of a depleted disaster relief fund. The Canadian Red Cross is dedicated to supporting our sister society in providing personnel and any other assistance requested.

Canadians wishing to donate may do so online, by calling toll-free 1-800-418-1111 or in-person at any Red Cross office. The 24-hour toll free line accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked "USA Disaster Relief" and mailed to the Canadian Red Cross National Office, 400 Cooper Street, Suite 8000, Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2H8.

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In-kind donations of food, clothing and other items, while well intentioned, are not the best way to help those in need. There are tremendous processing and transportation costs involved in shipping these items to beneficiaries. Local purchases of food and clothing are more culturally appropriate and effective. Red Cross supplies can be purchased in the immediate area, thereby reducing transportation costs. Cash transfers to the affected region provide the optimum flexibility to our Red Cross colleagues so they can meet the most urgent needs.