Red Cross: House fires top most common disasters

Posted at 6:17 PM, Dec 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-17 20:17:03-05

House fires are the most common disasters in the country, according to the American Red Cross year-end report.

The Red Cross spent $30 million on 174 large events in 2015, including the California wildfires and the Texas floods. 

"So, many people focus on big disasters, and those are heartbreaking, and they affect many people," said Patricia Billinger, a spokesperson for the American Red Cross. "But, America's biggest disaster is home fires."

This year alone, the Red Cross assisted 214,000 victims of house fires. They provide immediate support, such as clothing and food, and long-term help like lodging and replacing lost items.

But big donations typically come in only when disasters make headlines.

"A lot of people donate during the big disasters and they don't realize that we're responding to thousands of small disasters every day around the country," said Billinger. "We need those donations to respond to those."

The Red Cross relies on holiday months for up to a third of its total donations. Every dollar counts when disaster strikes.

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