East Hawaii News

Red Cross Volunteers Active in 2015

December 21, 2015, 3:16 PM HST
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The American Red Cross responded to an active year across the state and throughout the country.

With a record-breaking hurricane season in the Central Pacific that included 15 potentially threatening storms to Hawai’i systems, Red Cross volunteers stood on stand-by awaiting potential landfall.

“Even though the storms did not directly impact the islands, everyone from shelter, mental health, health, damage assessment, case workers, and logistics volunteers were prepared and ready to respond,” said Coralie Chun Matayoshi, Chief Executive Officer of the Hawai’i Red Cross.

In Hawai’i, 75 local home fires were responded to by the American Red Cross Hawai’i State Chapter throughout the year. Over 800 smoke alarms were installed through community partnerships and over 1,000 children learned about disaster preparedness.

Nationally, casework assistance was provided to 214,000 people impacted by home fires in 2015.

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A total of 176 large United States disasters were responded to in 2015, more than each of the three years prior.

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Flooding in Texas and South Carolina, wildfires in California, and Typhoon Soudelor are among the incidents that incurred a total cost of over $30 million.

As of Dec. 8, the Red Cross provided a total of over 34,000 overnight shelter stays to individuals forced from their homes, more than 1.1 million meals and snacks, and over 800,000 relief items.

In addition, 19,000 households received caseworker recovery support, and over 65,000 consultations for health and mental health were provided across the country.

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“Whether a disaster affects just one family or thousands of families, the Red Cross is committed to helping people get back on their feet as quickly as possible,” said Matayoshi.

Outside of the U.S., the American Red Cross worked with other Red Cross and Red Crescent societies to support families in Nepal following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the country in April, assisting displaced families from Burundi, and food insecurity in Senegal.

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