New disaster challenges American Red Cross

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Another disaster may create some problems for the American Red Cross.

Chile is struggling with the results of the earthquake which rocked the country. The quake hit 8.8 on the Richter scale. This left 723 dead and the number is rising.

"The American Red Cross is keeping a close eye on Chile. We have to take our cues from the Chilean government," Chris Osborne of the American Red Cross in Birmingham said.

Osborne says the American Red Cross has donated $50, 000 to the relief effort, but that will change if the country asks for help."The request for help, absolutely will activate our international response teams. We will do everything we possibly can, including cash donations," Osborne said.
             
After the Haiti disaster the Red Cross raised hundreds of millions of dollars but the organization will have problems shifting to a new need. "That can complicate us in dealing with multiple disasters that arise around the world, even around the country," says Osborne.
             
The problem is some people earmark their funding to particular disaster such as Haiti. That means none of the money can be used for other disasters that may develop. The American Red Cross urges everyone to donate to the International Response Fund. This will allow money to go to where it is needed quicker.

"There are tremendous challenges for The American Red Cross. In dealing with multiple disasters. That's what we do. That's what we do best," Osborne said.