Three Things You Didn’t Know about the American Red Cross

You probably already know that the American Red Cross is part of the largest humanitarian network in the world and strategically responds to natural and man-made disasters. But did you also know that the organization’s reach extends well beyond disaster response and blood services? The work of the Red Cross includes initiatives that help the community as a whole become more resilient in the face of disasters, as well as preventing disasters before they happen. Below are three ways that the Red Cross helps our region, and the country, fulfill the Red Cross mission of preventing and alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies.

  1. Home Fire campaign. We tend to think the biggest threats come from devastating events such as floods, hurricanes and wildfires, but that’s not the case. Home fires are the biggest threat of all. In fact, of the 64,000 disasters the Red Cross responds to every year, home fires are by far the most common. The good news is that there’s something we can do about it. Sound the Alarm, a year-round initiative within the Home Fire campaign, aims to reduce deaths and injury from home fire by 25 percent by 2020 by encouraging families and individuals to create fire escape plans, install smoke alarms, and regularly check their alarms. The organization has partnered with fire departments and community groups locally and nationally to educate the public about fire safety and to install free smoke alarms in at-risk neighborhoods in 100 target cities, including the Greater Salt Lake area. Recently, alarms were installed in homes throughout the area, including Magna, Millcreek, Ogden, Salt Lake City and Tooele. Learn more about the Home Fire campaign at SoundTheAlarm.org/Utah.
  2. Ready Rating. After a hurricane, tornado or other disaster, it can take businesses years to recover. Many don’t bounce back at all: up to 40 percent fail after natural disasters. Ready Rating is a free, self-guided web-based program that supports businesses, schools and organizations by giving them the tools to prepare for disasters and emergencies before they happen. Ready Rating can help entities recover by teaching them how to withstand disasters, maintain operations, and protect lives and property. Learn more about Ready Rating at readyrating.org.
  3. Missing Types. Imagine trying to read when letters are missing from a sentence. Now imagine the effect on a community of not having enough blood for those in need when a crisis occurs. The Missing Types awareness campaign uses language to demonstrate the effect of a blood shortage by encouraging companies, celebrities, influencers and others to erase the letters A, O and B — the main blood groups — from their logos, websites and other communications along with messaging about the importance of donating blood. Missing Types runs from June 11 through July 3 and highlights World Blood Donor Day, which falls on June 14. Learn more about Missing Types at redcrossblood.org/missingtypes.html.

These are just three of the many ways the Red Cross supports local companies, organizations and residents. Find out how your company can partner with the Red Cross by giving time money or blood at redcross.org.  Together, we can build a stronger, more resilient Utah.


Written by Dana Martin, American Red Cross