Investigations: Red Cross Response to Disasters Was Disaster in Itself

Pro Publica, NPR | October 31, 2014 | Sandy
Famed agency was ill-prepared, disorganized, inefficient, and incompetent when Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Isaac struck U.S in 2012

To most people, the agency’s famed red-cross logo symbolizes speedy, reliable, and even courageous help when emergencies happen or disasters strike.

But an investigation by Pro Publica and NPR found that when Hurricane Isaac and superstorm Sandy hit the United States in 2012, the Red Cross agency was not up to the task of helping victims of the two devastating storms.

Political considerations often determined where aid was sent. A considerable chunk of the hundreds of millions of dollars donated by the public was spent on public relations. Emergency vehicles were diverted from relief work to serve as backdrops at press conferences. Basic relief supplies like food were in short supply — or went to waste because of poor planning and inefficient distribution systems.

Read Pro Publica’s complete report on the disastrous response by the Red Cross.