2021 marked one of the country’s most active years for severe weather — which battered many communities still reeling from last year’s disasters and was exacerbated by the challenges of an ongoing pandemic. For thousands of people in need, the American Red Cross launched a new major relief effort every 11 days to provide refuge, food and care.
“Our most vulnerable neighbors are facing unique and pressing struggles when crisis strikes on top of COVID-19,” Stacy Burks, Southern Missouri executive director, said. “This Giving Tuesday and holiday season, we ask everyone to join us by making a financial donation to help us provide ongoing support to our communities when emergencies happen.”
This year, a family displaced by a disaster in the U.S. spent an average of nearly 30 days in a Red Cross-supported emergency shelter.
These extended stays were largely due to a lack of savings and community housing shortages — signs that disasters are compounding the financial hardships of the pandemic.
During last fiscal year, July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021, the Missouri Arkansas Region assisted over 12,000 individuals following local disasters, primarily home fires as well as other storm and flooding damage.
This breaks down to close to 7,500 individuals in Missouri (which does include counties in Kansas and Illinois along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers) and over 4,700 individuals in Arkansas. Over $2.6 million dollars in financial assistance was provided to these individuals.