Red Cross Launches 137 Major Relief Operations in 46 States in Disaster-Filled 2011

Gloria and James Thompson, thankful recipients of Red Cross emergency assistance.

ATLANTA, December 20, 2011 — The American Red Cross helped hundreds of thousands of people whose lives were forever changed by disasters in 2011, from large apartment fires, tornadoes, floods, wildfires and hurricanes in the U.S. to earthquakes and other disasters around the world. 

“The number of lives affected by large disasters in the past year is simply staggering,” said Terri Badour-Duckett, chief executive officer of the Georgia Red Cross. “The Red Cross, our partners, and communities nationwide worked non-stop to offer shelter, food and comfort.” 

In the United States, the Red Cross opened 1,019 shelters and provided more than 130,000 overnight stays. 27,622 trained disaster workers served more than 6.7 million meals and snacks and distributed more than 2.6 million relief items. Health and mental health workers provided more than 133,000 consultations and Red Cross workers opened 16,752 cases to help people get on the road to recovery. 

In Georgia, the Red Cross opened 12 shelters and provided 490 overnight stays. 702 trained disaster workers served 111, 536 meals and snacks and distributed 13, 851 relief items. Health and mental health workers provided 1,647 consultations and Red Cross workers opened 336 cases to help disaster affected communities. Whether it’s a large tornado or a home fire, disaster is devastating to the affected family. 

When James and Doris Thompson had an explosion and fire at their Stone Mountain (GA) home in early October, they were understandably shaken and dismayed to know that their home was completely destroyed. “We lost basically everything,” said James. “Our precious pictures and memories, all gone.” 

As it does an average of 3-4 times daily in metro Atlanta, the Red Cross responded, providing the Thompson’s with the resources that they would need to begin their recovery. “The Red Cross gave us monies to allow us to replace our clothing and to buy food in the interim until our insurance kicked in,” said James. “I can’t imagine what we would have done without the Red Cross.” 

As Americans solidify their year-end giving plans, they are asked to consider donating to support the Red Cross’ life-saving mission. “Through the generosity of the American people and their donations, we can continue to  make a difference in the lives of families like the Thompsons,” said Badour-Duckett. “We encourage everyone to resolve to give something this holiday season with a gift to the Red Cross for neighbors in need.”  

The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to assist people affected by disasters. If you would like to help, please consider making a donation today by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to the metro Atlanta Red Cross at P.O. Box 101508, Atlanta, GA 30392-1508. 

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at


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