10 Disturbing Things ProPublica/NPR Learned Investigating the Red Cross’ Sandy Relief Efforts

While the Red Cross called its response nearly “flawless,” a ProPublica investigation uncovered a much different version of events.

See document: Red Cross “Lessons Learned” presentation

For example, children were sheltered next to sex offenders.

The Red Cross took emergency vehicles away from aid work and used them as props at press events…

(The charity disputes this. See the story for more details.)

Meanwhile, storm victims were going hungry…

…and disabled victims were stuck sleeping in wheelchairs for days…

The Red Cross didn’t have batteries to give out with flashlights…

Battery by Luboš Volkov from The Noun Project

…but they did supply meals that included pork to a Jewish retirement home.

Bacon by Jacob Halton from The Noun Project

It wasn’t just Sandy. The Red Cross dispatched 80 emergency response vehicles after Hurricane Isaac — but they were nearly empty.

They sent hundreds of volunteers to a city that wasn’t in Isaac’s path…

See document: Contemporaneous emails complaining about Tampa decision

Red Cross officials on the ground say they were undermined by headquarters.

See document: Rieckenberg letter to Red Cross execs after Sandy

Read the story for more details on the Red Cross’ relief efforts and the charity’s response to our reporting — then tell us what you think. Are they ready for the next storm? Weigh in below.

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