Red Cross Responds To NPR/ProPublica Report On Storm Response Inefficiencies

October 30, 2014

This week, NPR and ProPublica have been reporting on the Red Cross response in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Isaac and other major storms.

Multiple internal documents obtained by NPR and ProPublica along with interviews with top Red Cross officials reveal an organization that struggled to meet the basic needs of victims in the first weeks after the storm. The documents and interviews also depict an organization so consumed with public relations that it hindered the charity’s ability to provide disaster services.

But PBS NewsHour’s Gwen Ifill reports that the Red Cross says the investigation is “distorted and inaccurate.”

In an on-air interview, Suzy DeFrancis, the Red Cross’ chief public affairs officer, says:

“We know that a disaster, by definition, something is going wrong. And you’re pulling together a whole bunch of volunteers who may not have always worked together. But you’re trying to get food and relief to people. And, of course, there are going to be problems. But the reason that you look at it is so you can find them and fix them and make sure they don’t occur again.”

Watch the full interview here or read the transcript on

Alicia Cypress is the digital editor for NPR’s Investigations team.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

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