AUSTIN (KXAN) — The number of national disasters costing billions of dollars is increasing, according to the American Red Cross.
This year, the Red Cross responded to more than twice the number of billion-dollar disasters than two decades ago.
“What’s a really big disaster? A really big disaster is one where the insured loss is a billion dollars or more,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president of disaster operations and logistics for the American Red Cross.
“In 1980 — three [disasters] a year. 2022 — 15 so far and still counting,” said Kieserman. “On average for the last five years — 18 billion-dollar disasters a year.”
Kieserman oversees all Red Cross domestic disaster operations and said you can help survivors by donating time, blood or money.
“Whether it’s a single-family fire, the Red Cross is showing up while the firemen are rolling up the hoses to help that family that’s been displaced find a place to live or if it’s a huge hurricane or a typhoon or a tornado or a flood, you can donate to make sure that we can help people and every dollar counts,” Kieserman said.
A donation of $2 provides an hour of care and services for one person in an emergency shelter. A $200 donation provides shelter and food for a family of four for one day.
Kieserman said chances are you or someone you know has been hit by some type of disaster, and the chances keep increasing.
“Over the last 10 years, more than 90% of counties in the United States have received a major disaster declaration from the federal government. So, if you have not yet personally experienced the disaster, or know someone who has personally experienced a major disaster, it’s just a matter of time at this point.”