Red Cross says 2020 Record Year for Disaster Shelters
Scientific American - The American Red Cross has provided record levels of disaster shelter this year as unprecedented hurricane and wildfire seasons forced massive evacuations and the COVID-19 pandemic made evacuees financially needy and reluctant to stay with relatives and friends.
The Red Cross has furnished more than 1.2 million nights of sheltering so far this year to people fleeing disasters. That’s more than four times the disaster-related shelter assistance the organization provides in an average year.
Only 10% of the evacuees stayed in traditional shelter settings such as schools and civic centers. The rest stayed in hotel rooms the Red Cross rented to avoid having evacuees potentially exposed to the coronavirus.
“We had just a rampant pace of disasters across the country,” said Trevor Riggen, the Red Cross senior vice president of disaster cycle services. “The number of times people had to evacuate and seek shelter was greater than we’ve seen before.”
Although 2020 was a record for disaster sheltering, Riggen said there is a long-term, climate-driven trend toward increasingly ...... READ MORE
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