Non-Profit Disaster Mitigation Organization. Specifically, Term Paper

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21). When pressed, the Red Cross said they did not know if any of their recipients had received aid from other agencies, or even actually lived in the affected areas (O'Meara, 2004, p. 21). There was a controversy after the facts became known, and after the controversy hit the news, the President of the organization, Dr. Bernadine Healy resigned in October 2001 after allegations that the organization did not use all the funds collected for victim relief. In December 2005, Marsha J. Evans also resigned her position as the President And CEO, after new allegations surfaced over the terrorist attacks and problems with the relief effort in the Gulf Coast area after the 2005 hurricane season. Today, the organization posts their tax returns and annual reports on their Web site, and has a list of commonly asked questions about where their funding comes from and where it goes.

Funding may be one of the most controversial aspects of the Red Cross and their leadership. The American Red Cross receives literally billions of dollars in donations each year (in 2005 their annual report states they receive $1,424 million in contributions). They also receive about five percent of their income from investments, and fifty-eight percent of their income from the sales of products and services ("American Red Cross," 2006). The organization also relies on a huge volunteer staff to keep costs as low as possible. They claim 91 cents of every dollar they raise goes to disaster relief in some way ("American Red Cross," 2006). There have been studies that show this may not always be the case, as the questions over the terrorist attacks indicate.

The Red Cross responds to each disaster situation as necessary. Often, they do not respond directly to the disaster site, but rather set up a response center near the site where victims can find clothing, food, and shelter. For example, during Hurricane Katrina and afterward, the Red Cross and Red
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Cross volunteers traveled into the region and set up over 1,000 shelters across the Gulf Coast area. They distributed food, clothing, and provided housing for many of the thousands of victims of the hurricane. They also handed out kits to victims containing personal care products, and distributed clean-up products in kit form, as well ("American Red Cross," 2006). In the September 11 attacks, they handed out meals, provided mental health counseling and facilities, found alternative housing, and paid benefits to victims who were touched by the disaster. Rather than medical care, their main concerns are public safety and the basic necessities of life. One of their most important responses is coordinating blood donations through other agencies. The Red Cross coordinates the blood supply of the nation, and insures it is safe and ready when disaster strikes.

Another important aspect of the disaster response is disaster training, preparedness, and prevention. The Red Cross offers training and safety classes in a variety of areas, and promotes home and health safety throughout the year, in the hopes of preventing at least some local and national disasters (such as home fires).

Thus, the Red Cross responds to disasters, but also remains in disaster areas until their services are no longer necessary. As with the hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, this can take many weeks or months. For example, the Red Cross notes they are still on the scene in Pakistan, one year after a devastating earthquake hit the region. Today, the American organization (along with sister international organization Red Crescent) are providing relief in the form of "quality assessments, targeting, logistics, distribution and accountability practices" ("American Red Cross," 2006). The organization also provides funding to victims of disasters, as the controversy over the September 11 and Katrina disasters indicate.


Editors. (2006). American Red Cross. Retrieved from the Web site: Dec. 2006.

Editors. (2006).…

Sources Used in Documents:


Editors. (2006). American Red Cross. Retrieved from the Web site: Dec. 2006.

Editors. (2006). Northern Nevada Chapter American Red Cross. Retrieved from the Web site: Dec. 2006.

O'Meara, Kelly Patrick. Are They Cheating on 9/11 Payouts? (2004, March 15). Insight on the News 21.

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