Disaster update from American Red Cross

Middle Tennessee flooding being monitored


As of Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020 the American Red Cross of the Tennessee Region has deployed 64 volunteers to respond to disasters.

We want to take the time to update statistics on what is happening around the nation right now. American Red Cross is actively working on more than 45 Disaster Relief Operations across the nation. A major focus is on the western wildfires, recovery from Hurricane Laura and Tropical Storm Sally approaching the Gulf states. 

Here's what we know: 


  • ​​​​​​​More than 100 historic wildfires continue to burn out of control across the west, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate, especially in California, Oregon and Washington. It could be weeks before people can return home, and the American Red Cross is there to support them.
  • Our work is just beginning. We are coordinating closely with partners and local officials to mobilize a massive relief effort across three states to ensure that people have food and shelter.
  • Help people affected by the western wildfires by visiting redcross.org, calling 800-RED CROSS or texting the word WILDFIRES to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
  • Most evacuees have had to leave quickly with little advance notice, taking what few belongings, they could. Thousands of homes and businesses have been incinerated.
  • The fires are also creating air quality issues from Los Angeles to Seattle. Portland and San Francisco now have the worst air quality in the world and officials are urging people to stay indoors.
  • In Oregon, fires have consumed more than a million acres and dozens of people are missing. Officials fear the death toll could rise.
  • In California, fires have burned 3.1 million acres so far, 26 times more than what was burned by this time last year.
  • In Washington, more than 600,000 acres and hundreds of homes have already been consumed.

Our work is just beginning. The Red Cross is coordinating closely with partners and local officials to mobilize a massive relief effort across three states to ensure that people have a safe place to stay, food and comfort during this time of uncertainty.

  • More relief supplies — including ready-to-eat meals, cots, blankets and personal protective equipment such as masks and hand sanitizer — are being moved in to support people in need.
  • Friday night, the Red Cross and our partners provided more than 7,900 people with safe refuge from the wildfires in emergency lodgings, including shelters and, in some cases, hotels.
  • Red Cross volunteers are also supporting temporary evacuation points, which are sites dedicated to directing evacuees to the best sheltering option for their individual needs.
  • 900 Red Cross disaster workers are helping evacuees cope, both on the ground and virtually. This includes replacing prescription medications, eyeglasses or other medical equipment.
  • With the help of partners, the Red Cross has already served more than 126,000 meals and snacks and distributed more than 20,000 relief items.


It’s been two weeks since Hurricane Laura devastated east Texas and Louisiana, and while much of the media coverage has faded, people are still suffering. More than 21,000 people are still staying in emergency lodgings because they can’t return home.

  • The Red Cross is there, working closely with partners to provide emergency lodgings, food, water, relief supplies and other support for people whose lives have been turned upside down.
  • Dozens of service sites set up by the Red Cross and our partners are available across the hardest hit areas. Thousands of people are visiting daily to get water, food and emergency relief supplies.
  • People are depending on the Red Cross now. Help people affected by Hurricane Laura by visiting redcross.org, calling 800-RED-CROSS or texting the word LAURA to 90999 to make a $10 donation.


We are in the early stages of response for Tropical Storm Sally as the storm is appearing to head toward the Gulf Coast states. Evacuations are happening in an already damaged Louisiana and we will be monitoring the storm closely.


We are monitoring rising flood water in Middle Tennessee and will update as needed from our social media platforms.


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