Red Cross releases report on Sevier Co. wildfire response

Smoke rises from the remains of the Alamo Steak House Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in Gatlinburg, Tenn., after a wildfire swept through the area Monday. Three more bodies were found in the ruins of wildfires that torched hundreds of homes and businesses in the Great Smoky Mountains area, officials said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The American Red Cross released its one-year report Wednesday outlining its response to the Sevier County wildfires last November.

The Red Cross raised $1.6 million to support relief and recovery efforts in response to the wildfires. As of Nov. 3, $1.5 million has been spent or committed to disaster relief. The $1.5 million is broken down as follows:

  • Individual Emergency Assistance & Recovery $979,000 (62%)
  • Food, Shelter & Relief Items $353,000 (22%)
  • Community Recovery $173,000 (11%)
  • Health & Emotional Support $81,000 (5%)

The Red Cross says the costs include the organization’s logistics, staff and technology expenses, as well the value of critical donated goods and services. It plans to spend the remaining funds by early December.

The report says the Red Cross invests an average of 91 cents of every dollar into humanitarian services and programs.

READ MORE: Lessons Learned from the Sevier County Wildfires

According to the report, more than 450 Red Cross workers helped thousands of people impacted by the fires, including

  • More than 3,000 overnight shelter stays
  • Nearly 38,900 meals and snacks served
  • More than 3,200 relief items distributed
  • More than 3,200 health and mental health contacts made
  • More than 450 cases opened for people in need

The wildfires that swept through the area on Nov. 28, 2016 forced thousands from their homes, destroying more than 2,000 houses and other structures along the way. Fourteen people were killed in the fires.

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