The report focuses on whether disaster relief charities would be able to meet mass casualty needs during a natural catastrophe or terrorist attack in a major U.S. city. The conclusion? Despite expansions and upgrades, they might simply be overwhelmed.
Since Katrina, the Red Cross has spent about $80 million to upgrade its communication systems and stockpile cots, blankets and other supplies in warehouses in disaster-prone areas. We have more than tripled feeding capacity to about 1 million meals a day, and our volunteer corps has swelled to 73,000, up from 26,000 before Katrina.
But, in reading the Washington Post article, the most important message seems to be that — in a large-scale disaster — relief agencies must combine efforts…no one agency can do it all on their own.