Central & South Texas Region headquartered in Austin, through six local Chapters serves nearly 7 million people in 83 Counties

August 2020 Disaster Response Report

This month CSTR had as significant decrease in home fires as compared to August 2019.  In August 2019, we responded to 111 home fires and provided service to 374 clients.  This month the American Red Cross responded to 65 home fires and provided service to 195 clients.

This might sound like success, but every home fire is at the least disruptive and all too often devastating to the family.  This August, late on a Saturday night a family in Round Rock suffered the loss of their home as the result of a home fire.

Here are a few facts about home fires:

  • On average, 7 people die every day from a home fire.
  • On average, 36 people suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day.
  • More than $7 billion in property damage occurs every year due to home fires.
  • A working smoke alarm can cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half.
  • Fire experts agree that you may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out.
  • Every eight minutes, the Red Cross responds to a disaster – and the vast majority of these are home fires.
  • In a typical year, home fires kill more people than all natural disasters combined in the United States.
  • Roughly three of every five home fire deaths happen in homes with either no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
  • Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries. More than half of all cooking fire injuries occur when people try to fight the fire themselves.

Our compassionate Disaster Action Team (DAT) responders are volunteers or staff who are on-call to respond to emergencies day and night to meet the immediate needs of their neighbors.  Since early spring our DAT responses are primarily virtual in compliance with the COVID-19 DAT response protocols.  In person interviews are a last resort and when conducted social distancing guidelines are adhered.  This change in procedure is in consideration of the health of our clients and volunteers.

Breakdown of August service by Chapter service area:

Central Texas: serving Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Milam, Travis, Williamson counties

Eighteen calls for service, 52 clients served.

Heart of Texas: serving Bell, Bosque, Brazos, Burleson, Coryell, Falls, Freestone, Grimes, Hamilton, Hill, Lampasas, Leon, Limestone, McLennan, Madison, Robertson, Washington counties

Fourteen calls for service, 39 clients served.

Hill Country: serving Bandera, Blanco, Crockett, Edwards, Gillespie, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Kinney, Llano, Mason, Maverick, Medina, Menard, Real, Sutton, Uvalde, Val Verde counties

Seven calls for service, 24 clients served.

Permian Basin: serving Andrews, Borden, Brewster, Crane, Dawson, Ector, Gaines, Glasscock, Howard, Irion, Jeff Davis, Loving, Martin, Midland, Pecos, Presidio, Reagan, Reeves, Sterling, Terrell, Upton, Ward, Winkler counties

Nine calls for service, 31 clients served.

Greater San Antonio:  serving Atascosa, Bexar, Comal, Dimmit, Frio, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Karnes, LaSalle, Webb, Wilson, Zapata, Zavala counties.

Eight calls for service, 27 clients served.

Trans Pecos: serving Culberson, El Paso and Hudspeth Counties.

Nine calls for service, 22 clients served.

In each case, families and individuals were given financial resources for a place to stay, clothes, food and medicine, as needed.  If needed, health and mental health services are provided. Along with providing casework for the residents in a quick and efficient time frame. In addition, volunteers provide follow-up calls to assist individuals on a clear path to recovery.

All services provided by the American Red Cross are free.  Today, as throughout our long history, the American Red Cross (ARC) depends on generous contributions of time, blood, and money from the American public to support our lifesaving services and programs.

More information about American Red Cross service delivery in the Central and South Texas Region is available at https://www.redcross.org/local/texas/central-and-south-texas.html