American Red Cross
in Connecticut


Be Red Cross Ready
Here's how


Get a Kit

Make a Plan

Be Informed

Report a Local Disaster

Current Connecticut Red Cross Disaster Information

ARC DISASTER RESOURCES IN CONNECTICUT
Data current as of 1/1/06
Shelters xxx
Cots xxx
Blankets xxx
ERVs (Emergency Response Vehicles) xxx
Chapter Communication Centers xxx
Disaster Volunteers (registered) xxx
DSHR (Disaster Services Human Resources)
When a major disaster strikes an area, the local chapter rarely has enough trained personnel to provide adequate Red Cross response. The National Red Cross Disaster Services Human Resources (DSHR) program provides assistance by sending trained volunteers from chapters in other parts of the country to assist the local chapter.
To participate in the DSHR program a volunteer must:
  • Have attained the age of majority in the state of their permanent residence.
  • Have a formal education sufficient to meet the demands of disaster work, preferably holding at least a high school equivalency.
  • Hold a current first aid certificate.
  • Complete the Red Cross training course "Introduction to Disaster Services" and appropriate functional training.
  • Participate in the local Chapter Disaster Services Program.
  • Be available to serve in disaster operations with little or no notice and preferably for three weeks per assignment.
  • Be willing to live and work in adverse conditions such as those resulting from natural or man made disasters.
  • Be willing to work long daily hours for extended periods with little or no free time.
  • Be in good health.
  • A DSHR volunteer is usually certified in one or more functions such as Mass Care, Family Service, Disaster Health Services, Disaster Mental Health, Damage Assessment, Logistics, or Records & Reports.
  • When going on assignment, travel and living expenses are paid by the Red Cross and the assignment usually lasts for 3 weeks.
SERVICES PROVIDED BY RED CROSS DURING DISASTERS
Local disasters (
Relief Phase)
  • Shelter (General shelters or temporary lodging)
  • Food
  • Clothing and blankets
  • Medical care
    Red Cross Disaster Health Services staff deliver first aid and attend to other health-related matters. Based on a person's needs, the Red Cross may also help pay for certain medical needs, including prescription medicines, medical supplies, and emergency medical treatment. The Red Cross coordinates its disaster health services efforts with those of the local health authorities and the medical and nursing communities. All activities and services provided by Red Cross Disaster Health Services workers reflect quality health care and current professional standards of health care. All Red Cross disaster health services workers must have a current license or certificate in their field of expertise.
  • Mental health services
    The American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Services staff are licensed mental health professionals trained to recognize the emotional impact of a disaster on those affected—both victims and workers. They help people recognize, understand, and cope with the specific feelings they experience after a disaster. They work with the local mental health community to ensure both short-term and long-term assistance is available.
  • Individual and family assistance
    Assistance may include providing the means for individuals and families to pay for what they need most – from groceries, new clothes, and rent to emergency home repairs, transportation, household items, medicines, and tools. The Red Cross may also help those needing long-term recovery assistance when other resources are not available or are inadequate. In addition, the Red Cross lets people know about other available community or government resources.
  • Family reunification
  • Resumption of normal daily activities
    This may include a referral or a way to pay for what is needed most: groceries, new clothes, rent, emergency home repairs, transportation, household items, medicines, and occupational tools.
Local Disaster (Recovery phase)
The Red Cross may help those needing long-term recovery assistance when all other available resources, including insurance, government, private, and community assistance, are either unavailable or inadequate to meet the needs. All assistance is based on verified disaster-caused needs and all assistance is free—literally a gift as a result of the generous support of the American people.

Large-scale disasters
Each year, the American Red Cross responds immediately to more than 70,000 disasters, including house or apartment fires (the majority of disaster responses), hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hazardous materials spills, transportation accidents, explosions, and other natural and man-made disasters.

Red Cross disaster relief focuses on meeting people's immediate emergency disaster-caused needs. When a disaster threatens or strikes, the Red Cross provides shelter, food, and health and mental health services to address basic human needs. In addition to these services, the core of Red Cross disaster relief is the assistance given to individuals and families affected by disaster to enable them to resume their normal daily activities independently.

What can people expect from the American Red Cross during times of disaster?
Red Cross disaster relief focuses on meeting the emergency disaster-caused needs of individuals and families. When a disaster threatens or strikes, we provide shelter, food, and health and mental health services, which address basic human needs. In addition, we help individuals and families to resume their normal daily activities independently. This may include a referral or a way to pay for what is needed most: groceries, new clothes, rent, emergency home repairs, transportation, household items, medicines, and occupational tools.

The Red Cross may also help those needing long-term recovery assistance when all other available resources, including insurance, government, private, and community assistance, are either unavailable or inadequate to meet the needs. All assistance is based on verified disaster-caused needs and all assistance is free—literally a gift as a result of the generous support of the American people.

The Red Cross also feeds disaster victims and emergency workers, handles inquiries from concerned immediate family members outside the disaster-affected area, provides blood and blood products to disaster victims, and links disaster victims to other available resources.

What health services does the American Red Cross provide during a disaster? Isn't this the government's responsibility?
Primary responsibility for the general health of a community following a disaster rests with the local public health authorities and local medical, nursing, and health resources. Ill or injured persons normally look to their own physicians or the usual community health facilities for the type of care they need. The Red Cross supplements the existing community health care system when disasters threaten or strike.

Red Cross Disaster Health Services staff deliver first aid and attend to other health-related matters. Based on a person's needs, the Red Cross may also help pay for certain medical needs, including prescription medicines, medical supplies, and emergency medical treatment.

The Red Cross coordinates its disaster health services efforts with those of the local health authorities and the medical and nursing communities. All activities and services provided by Red Cross Disaster Health Services workers reflect quality health care and current professional standards of health care. All Red Cross disaster health services workers must have a current license or certificate in their field of expertise.

Why does the Red Cross provide disaster mental health services after disasters?
The American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Services staff are licensed mental health professionals trained to recognize the emotional impact of a disaster on those affected—both victims and workers. They help people recognize, understand, and cope with the specific feelings they experience after a disaster. They work with the local mental health community to ensure both short-term and long-term assistance is available.

How is American Red Cross Disaster Services involved in international relief operations?
The response to international disasters is coordinated through the American Red Cross International Services Department. Depending on the size and scope of the disaster and the capabilities of the affected Red Cross national society, it may request help through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. In many cases, the affected Red Cross society is seeking personnel with a special expertise, such as a logistics or mass feeding background. Following Hurricane Mitch in the fall of 1998, American Red Cross Disaster Services, in conjunction with International Services, formed the International Response Team for the Caribbean Basin and Central America to help the affected national societies with planning and preparedness prior to a major disaster and with rapid needs assessment following a disaster.

How quickly is the American Red Cross able to respond to disasters?
The nearly 1,300 Red Cross chapters across the country are required to respond with services to an incident within two hours of being notified. These local chapters conduct disaster training as well as planning and preparedness, to help them respond quickly and effectively when a disaster occurs.

Human and material resources, such as disaster specialists and disaster relief supplies, are located in high-risk areas. This helps to ensure a quick response when a disaster occurs. Immediately after a disaster incident is reported, we begin to mobilize personnel and other resources to provide services such as sheltering and feeding survivors. The local chapter with the help of other chapters in the state quickly assesses the size and scope of the incident. If help from beyond the state will be needed, a request goes immediately to national headquarters so that supplies can be sent and people recruited as soon as possible.

SERVICES NOT PROVIDED BY RED CROSS DURING DISASTERS
  • Arranging for donations to specific individuals or families
  • Extended temporary lodging
  • Red Cross disaster shelters cannot accept pets because of states' health and safety regulations and other considerations.