The Local Red Cross: Policies, Programs, and Problems in Disaster Relief
Adams, David S.
Disaster Research Center
In a disaster of any magnitude that occurs in American society, the Red Cross is certain to be present. Much of the mass care which is necessary during such emergencies becomes the responsibility of the Red Cross. Too, unlike other emergency organizations, the Red Cross has continuing responsibilities in the rehabilitation phase. Because of such extensive involvement in disaster activities, only a limited aspect of this involvement can be considered here. The concern here is to depict the operations of this organization during the emergency period and the possible organizational sources of the difficulties it may have in carrying out it activities. In this sense, the report is problem oriented rather than concentrating on achievements. While the focus on the report will be on the local chapter of the Red Cross in its disaster activities, these local activities have to be seen in the context of their relationship to national level policy and to Red Gross in its disaster activities, these local activities have to be seen in the context of their relationship to national level policy and to Red Cross personnel based outside the community. Consequently, after a brief discussion of the data upon which this report is based, attention will be given t~ the general structure of the Red Cross. In the second chapter, the disaster orientation of the Ked Cross is outlined, particularly as this orientation is revealed in the emergency demands which the organization accepts as legitimate. The bulk of this second chapter, therefore, concerns the tasks which members of the Red Cross perform in disaster. Subsequent chapters will consider the Red Cross mobilization of personnel and supplies to perform these tasks in emergencies (chapter three) and certain problems which occur within the organization as a result of this mobilization (chapter four), h e of the consequences of mobilization is, of course, the sudden convergence of national personnel and local volunteers on the Red Cross. Chapter four will deal, then, with the intraorganizational consequences of these dual structures of the Red Cross in disaster operations. Chapter five will consider interorganizational relationships in these operations and chapter six will deal with some implications for the role of the Red Cross in a post-nuclear attack environment.
massacre , red cross , nuclear enviroment , disaster relief