The American Red Cross was founded in 1881 by Clara Barton. Today, it is one of the most well-known charities, with 35,000 employees and more than 500,000 volunteers on the rolls. The national headquarters are in Washington, DC; there are hundreds of local chapters nationwide. The Red Cross makes this mission statement on their website: "The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors."


Rank Chart
Local Assistance
Emergency Store
Our Score

The Good

  • Education
  • Store

The emergency preparedness section of the Red Cross website is very thorough. The Red Cross has applied knowledge gained through 133 years of disaster response to the materials listed here.

Insofar as education goes, we feel that this site is second to none. Users will find an easy to navigate page with information on:

  • Types of emergencies
  • Preparing your family
  • Preparing your home, workplace, and school
  • Checklists
  • Disaster related apps
  • A disaster and safety library with fact sheets, preparedness checklists, recovery guides, and more
  • Preparing food and water supplies

In addition, there is a limited store where you can purchase emergency kits and supplies.

The Bad

  • Pricing

There is not much to say on the negative with The Red Cross. We would like to point out that the items in the online store could very likely be purchased much more cheaply elsewhere, especially if you assemble your own kits.

The Bottom Line

We recommend the Red Cross as an excellent education resource for learning how to prepare ahead for any kind of disaster or emergency. If the information is necessary or useful, you will find it here. In addition, the website can give users information as to where to get help if disaster does strike.

The Red Cross is a charity with a long, impeccable history; we are confident that as a website user, you will find what you are looking for – unless you are searching for a place to purchase preparedness supplies like food storage items, water storage, emergency stoves and fuel, and like items. This is not The Red Cross’s purpose, and you will need to look elsewhere for those kinds of supplies.

Learning Material

The Red Cross website is a richly informative site.  Preparation resources are arranged by type of emergency, so you can select what types of disasters are most likely for your location and be thoroughly prepared for it.  There is educational material covering what to do before, during, and after an emergency.  Printable checklists, editable pdf planning lists, and preparedness apps are a great resource to help be prepared.

Emergency Store

The Red Cross does have a limited store where you can purchase items like 3-day survival kits, first aid kids, emergency radio, and similar items.  They do not have an extensive store, so someone looking to build up a long term supply of emergency rations will want to look elsewhere.

Connecting with the Community

The Red Cross has chapters nationwide, and it is easy to get connected with a local one through the website.

How is the Website?

We found the website to be extremely user-friendly and easy to navigate.  It is clean, fast, and intuitively arranged.

Time in Business

133 years.

Contact Information 

Phone number:  1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)

Email inquiries:

Address: American Red Cross National Headquarters

2025 E Street, NW

Washington, DC 20006

In addition, interested parties are instructed to contact a local chapter for assistance.

Other Perks

The Red Cross exists to help people in need, so beyond information and a small store, there are volunteer opportunities and many resources for people who have been affected by a disaster.  The website can help you find an emergency shelter or search for a lost loved one.  They will also help with disaster recovery, free of charge.

Are there any inaccuracies in this review? We take our accuracy very seriously and would love your feedback. Give feedback here.

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