September 6, 2002

Remember, Support, Prepare

by The American Red Cross

As a society, we like to measure, weight and calculate. We use numbers to determine the size of the problem and the effectiveness of the solution. As the American Red Cross reflects back on its 121-year history, it is clear that no other disaster compares to the horror of September 11, 2001.

Ø 3,000 souls gone

Ø 55,000 families displaced from their home or their jobs

Ø $638 million in disaster relief provided in the past year

Ø 14 million meals for affected families and emergency workers

Ø 57,000 Red Cross volunteers from around the nation responded

Numbers are always available but behind every statistic is a human being. Numbers alone can never paint an adequate picture of how a disaster unfolds, the people it affects or the incredible manpower involved in seeking it through from a tragic beginning to a hopeful ending. Today, we urge all Americans to think beyond the numbers and instead, reflect on the heart of our nation. We encourage you to: Remember, Support, Prepare.

Remember the victims. Remember the Pentagon, the World Trade Center and the brave souls in the downed planes. Remember the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces who are defending our freedom right now. Remember the Red Cross volunteers who traveled to attacked areas to help. Remember your shock, fear, horror and tears. And then, remember your heart. All across America, sleeves were rolled up as the public united to give blood and develop fundraising drives. Through this crisis, the Red Cross as the world witnessed first-hand how you, the silent strength of America, took the first steps in helping our nation head.

Support the work of those who are helping the nation recover and move forward, including the military, the government, emergency workers, Red Cross workers and each other during these uncertain times. Take the time to thank those in your local community who help other every day. Enroll in a free disaster training course, become a Red Cross volunteer, make a blood donation, or write a check to help disaster victims in your hometown.

Prepare for the unthinkable in your own community. The Red Cross is urging Americans to develop emergency response plans for their homes so that they know how to respond to any emergency. There are things all of us can do to prepare for the unexpected —create a family emergency response plan, learn CPR and First Aid, assemble a disaster supply kit, give blood or sponsor a blood drive. These steps are simple, yet powerful enough to save your life.

Remember, Support, Prepare. If the uninmaginable happens again, we hope you won’t think twice about reaching into your hearts with the same compassion as you did after September 11. Simply put, what you give brings dignity to others. What you give builds hope. What you give saves lives. The Red Cross is deeply grateful to everyone who opened their hearts in the greatest show of humanitarian strength our nation has ever seen.

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