The Red Cross has come under fire in the past for its handling of several major disasters from Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy to the most recent earthquake in Haiti. Already, their response to Hurricane Harvey has come under attack for its poor response to the crisis and poor management of its resources.

As the Houston Chronicle reported:

At the M.O. Campbell Center in Greenspoint, the Red Cross had planned to take in 500 people, but it only had 200 cots in place by the time the water started rising Saturday night, inundating thousands of homes and apartments that had flooded just 16 months ago.

By Monday morning, more than 2,000 flood victims had taken refuge there, and the Red Cross was rationing food. No one between the ages of 10 and 75 who wasn’t sick or pregnant could get a meal.

Once again, the lack of a coordination is curtailing their ability to get resources to people in need. This is not a new problem.

According to Colorlines:

In 2006, nearly one year after Hurricane Katrina — which displaced more than 1 million people in the Gulf region — The New York Times published an article on how international monitors found the Red Cross’s response to be dangerously insufficient:

The American Red Cross response to Hurricane Katrina was poorly planned, relied too heavily on inexperienced managers and often failed to meet the needs of victims, according to international Red Cross officials who were dispatched to assist their American counterparts.

Last week, Red Cross executive Brad Kieserman was interviewed by Alisa Chang of NPR and when asked the percentage of a dollar donated actually goes to helping victims of disasters, he could not provide an answer.

There are many other organizations that one can contribute to in times of crisis. The Charity Navigator rates charities based on several factors and has posted charities specifically relating to helping people in Houston. The Red Cross is not your only option to help, and your money may be better spent elsewhere.

– Staff


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