Two years after Hurricane Harvey, Red Cross continues helping

Published 2:36 am Saturday, August 24, 2019

To The Leader


In the two years since Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of Texas and Louisiana, the American Red Cross has used more than $498 million in donations to help hundreds of thousands of people recover and rebuild after one of the largest flooding events in U.S. history. 

 “After the rains passed and floodwaters receded, the extraordinary generosity of our supporters enabled the Red Cross to get financial assistance into the hands of people with the greatest needs as quickly as possible,” said Henry Van de Putte, Regional Chief Executive for the Red Cross Texas Gulf Coast.  “The Red Cross continues to stand with the impacted communities—working together with our partners to carry out important recovery work and helping those communities become better prepared for future emergencies.”

EMERGENCY RELIEF As the slow-moving storm drenched the region, thousands of Red Cross disaster volunteers worked alongside partners to provide people with a safe place to stay, food to eat and a shoulder to lean on. During the emergency response, the Red Cross and our partners:

  • Provided more than 414,800 overnight shelter stays 
  • Served over 4.5 million meals and snacks 
  • Made more than 127,000 health and mental health contacts 
  • Distributed more than 1.6 million relief items 

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE To help the most severely impacted people pick up the pieces and begin rebuilding, the Red Cross has provided more than $345 million in total financial assistance to hundreds of thousands of households. This includes giving 575,000 households some $230 million in immediate financial assistance in the first five months post-landfall. People used these funds to help with groceries, gas, clothing, rent or bills, as well as the cost of evacuating. Then, over the last 18 months, the Red Cross has distributed an additional $115 million in recovery financial assistance to more than 46,000 households to support longer-term needs. This assistance has helped families with paying for temporary housing, making essential home repairs, replacing lost appliances and furniture, and much more.

RECOVERY GRANTS The Red Cross has also awarded over $59 million in long-term recovery grants to more than 120 non-profit organizations. Through these grants, the Red Cross is providing targeted funding to help residents who need extra help with recovery. Red Cross grants are helping to fuel home repair and rebuilding services; mental health services, especially for children; local Long-Term Recovery Committees, legal advocacy groups and financial counseling; and assistance for people with disabilities; the elderly and those who cannot access government services. A complete list of grant awards can be found at

SPENDING Through the generosity of our donors, the Red Cross raised $524.5 million, including the value of critical donated goods and services, to help people affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana. Now, two years later, 95 percent – or approximately $498.5 million – has been spent or committed to be spent on critical emergency relief and recovery efforts. The remaining funds will continue to be used to help with unmet needs for individuals, families and communities. Full details are available in the Red Cross’ Hurricane Harvey Two-Year Update and video