American Red Cross' Bank Account Runs Dry

Even so, these disaster relief experts say that giving with some doubts is far better than not giving at all because the Red Cross is still the leading organization when disaster strikes.

"The nonprofit volunteer sector is the key resource for providing national disaster relief, so we're very vulnerable as a society if these organizations do not have the resources to provide the emergency care we've come to expect," said Ottenhoff.

"But Americans do respond to crisis," he added. "We've seen that time and time again after 9/11 and the tsunami and Katrina and even with the earthquake in China."

"I would never underestimate the generosity of the American public," he said.

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