November 30 marks the official end of hurricane season, as we know. While 19 tropical storms or hurricanes formed this year, we were fortunate that no major storm made it to the coast of the United States.

It’s a lucky break that for the Keys has lasted five years, something that’s happened only three other times in our history. Unfortunately, that streak has always broken in the sixth year.

A disaster – either man-made or natural – can strike at any time, so we don’t let our guard down. We must, all of us, make it our goal to be self-sufficient for the first 72 hours following any disaster.

At the Red Cross, disaster response and preparedness keep us busy year-round. We respond to single-family fires and other “small” disasters regularly. So while the “big” one didn’t hit all of us, the big one does happen frequently to families who lose their home due to a house fire.

And often, in the wake of a disaster, our very giving community members often ask “What can I do to help?”

Right now, the Red Cross Holiday Catalog, found at, is a great way for individuals to sponsor the items that truly will make a difference for people in need. You can help purchase phone cards for military service men and women serving overseas, infant care kits for youngsters who stay at Red Cross shelters and life-saving measles vaccinations for children around the world. No matter what Red Cross initiative you choose to support, you will be giving the gift of hope.

Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season,

J B Hunt
American Red Cross
Regional Advancement Officer


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