Nearly 21 million adults in the United States were affected by disasters between 2001 and 2010. That’s almost five times more than the previous decade, according to the 2011 World Disaster Report. As the number and severity of disasters continues to increase, we’ve expanded our relief efforts and improved our partnerships to provide vital assistance to disaster-affected communities.

As a member of the American Red Cross’ Annual Disaster Giving Program, Lowe’s pledges donations on an ongoing basis in advance of disasters to help ensure the Red Cross has proper supplies and resources in place to respond effectively and immediately. Since teaming with the American Red Cross in 1999, Lowe’s and our customers have contributed more than $25 million for disaster relief.

In 2012, a year filled with hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and floods, Lowe’s support helped the Red Cross respond to more than 100 large-scale disasters in 42 states. Lowe’s donated more than $1 million to the Red Cross to assist those impacted by disasters, beginning with spring tornadoes and floods that swept across 16 states in the Midwest and Southeast in March and April.

In the aftermath of severe weather, Lowe’s Heroes fanned out into local communities to help clean up the hardest-hit areas and distribute gloves, tarps, buckets, water, trash bags and other critically needed supplies to residents. Working in coordination with the Red Cross, Lowe’s also supported relief operations with in-kind product donations and extended our assistance through the Lowe’s Racing for Relief program. Since its inception in 2000, Lowe’s Racing for Relief has raised $1.25 million for the Red Cross.

To aid the Red Cross’ response to devastating summer wildfires in nine Western states, Lowe’s donated $250,000 and filled requests for supplies as they came in. Employees at Lowe’s of Fort Collins and Greeley, Colo., made 150 sifters with materials available at the stores and donated them to the Red Cross to help local residents find valuables and clean up after the fires. With the help of employees at Lowe’s stores in Fort Collins and Fountain, Colo., and our regional distribution center in Cheyenne, Wyo., Lowe’s also donated 14,000 pairs of gloves along with ceiling fans, standing fans, masks and other supplies to support Red Cross relief efforts and shelter needs.

Our largest coordinated response came in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Along with the tireless work of Lowe’s Heroes on the ground, Lowe’s donated $500,000 to the Red Cross to provide both immediate and long-term support to 11 states across the Northeast. The response continued into 2013, months after the storm’s landfall. The Red Cross has handed out more than 8 million meals and provided more than 75,000 overnight stays to feed and comfort families in need.

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