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Friday, August 19, 2016

Colorado and Wyoming Red Crossers Doing their Part to Help Louisianans

By Bill Fortune

Update at 5 P.M. Friday, August 19 - Four additional volunteers will be heading to help the people of Louisiana. That brings the total number of volunteers deployed to help in Louisiana from Colorado and Wyoming to 17 plus one staff member. The volunteers will depart to Baton Rouge on Saturday, August 20. Three of the volunteers will work in the shelters. The fourth volunteer will be working in Client Casework to help people with immediate need and recovery.

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The Red Cross has been responding to the call for help from people affected by the Louisiana Floods. Earlier this week the Red Cross called this disaster, "the worst since Hurricane Sandy" and the stories suggest that it is indeed that bad. It has been estimated that 40,000 homes have been inundated or affected by flood waters. More than 10,000 people have stayed in Red Cross shelters since the flooding began. Some of the people affected were also impacted by Hurricane Katrina nearly 11 years ago. To them this disaster is particularly disheartening.

Map showing where Red Cross volunteers who have deployed
to Louisiana originated from. Courtesy American Red Cross
The situation remains dire and the Red Cross has called out volunteers from across the country to bring help and hope to the thousands of people affected. Volunteers from Colorado and Wyoming have stepped up to give time and energy to those in need. We have sent 12 volunteers and 1 staff member to support the people of Louisiana along with 2 of our Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV).

Four of our volunteers traveled on Thursday (8/18) in two ERVs. When they arrive in Baton Rouge they will be sent out to bring food, water and cleanup supplies to people affected by the floods. A Red Cross Nurse deployed earlier in the week along with 4 volunteers who will help in shelters. Another volunteer helping is to assess the damage to help with response decisions and another volunteer who will help coordinate with local, state and federal officials. A volunteer was sent to Dallas, TX to support the Digital Operations Center as they try to monitor and engage people affected by the floods. We also have one staff member positioned in our Disaster Operations Center helping to coordinate service delivery.
Doreen Ulm(L) talks with volunteer
Lynette Nyman. Photo American Red Cross
One resident escaping the flood waters in a Red Cross shelter in Gonzalez, LA, is 81-year-old Doreen Ulm, who survived air raids in London during World War II and because of the flood is at a shelter for the first time since the war.

Courtney Robinson, her husband and five children are almost sure their home is destroyed and are also taking refuge from the flooding in a Red Cross shelter. They fled their home with only some food and water and a change of clothes for the family. These are just two of the thousands of people impacted by this devastating flooding.
A Red Cross volunteer consoles Courtney Robinson at a
Red Cross shelter. Photo American Red Cross









Children hold hot meals they received from 
the Red Cross in Denham Springs, a town
 hit hard by flooding across southern Louisiana.




HOW TO HELP People can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recovery from these disasters.

FINDING LOVED ONES Residents of the affected areas can connect with their loved ones by using the “I’m Safe” button on the Red Cross Emergency App which is free and can be found in the app store for someone’s mobile device by searching for “American Red Cross” or by going to redcross.org/apps.

People can also visit www.redcross.org/safeandwell to register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website, a secure and private way that friends and family connect. The site also allows people to update their status on Facebook and Twitter.

BECOME A VOLUNTEER To become a Red Cross volunteer, visit redcross.org today to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application.

“It’s overwhelming,” says Mike Armstrong, who  is beginning to
 clean up following historic flooding across parts of southern Louisiana,
 including Denham Springs where Armstrong has lived for more than 30 years.
 Armstrong welcomed iced water and hot meals from Red Cross
 volunteer Cora Lee, a local relief worker.
To get the latest news from the Red Cross go to our website: redcross.org



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