Monday, August 22, 2016

Colorado and Wyoming Red Crossers Continue to Deploy

By Bill Fortune

Bringing Help and Hope is First Priority

Denver – August 22, 2016, Noon — The Red Cross has been responding to the call for help from people affected by the Louisiana Floods and the California Fires. 

Blue Cut Fire in California – The Blue Cut Fire forced the evacuation of 82,000 people and more than 230 people stayed at 7 Red Cross and community shelters near by. Two volunteers from Colorado have deployed to help with the Blue Cut Fire response near San Bernardino, CA. Eugene McGuire will support sheltering in California and Nina Page, a Red Cross Nurse, will provide minor medical support at a shelter. There are seven shelters open in the area with over 230 people residing. Both of these volunteers are from the Red Cross of the Mile High Area.
Louisiana Floods
The Red Cross called this disaster response, "the biggest disaster response 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.

One Family's Story
Tenisha Longmire and her three young children are safe in a Red Cross shelter in
Tenisha Longmire watches her 2 year old son at the
Red Cross shelter in Baton Rouge, LA.
Photo by Red Cross
Baton Rouge. But her journey to safety was frightening. After running to the store to stock up on supplies, Longmire couldn’t get home to her children because of the flooding. Her mother took the kids in, but Longmire couldn’t get to them. She slept in her car for several days until she reunited with her family. Then the family looked for a place to stay, but some places said they had no room. “I felt ashamed,” Longmire said. “But you folks…the Red Cross…you welcomed us….me…my kids. You folks have been so wonderful. I don’t know what we are going to do or where we are going to go, but I’ll never forget how kind your volunteers have been to us. You’ve treated us like family. Thank you, Red Cross.”

Volunteers Make It Happen
Jessica Clark, a Red Cross volunteer from Birmingham,
 Alabama, gives a flood clean-up kit and water
 to Cedric Batise during a relief supply distribution
 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Batise is a Red Cross 
volunteer whose home was flooded. Photo by
Red Cross
The Red Cross has deployed more than 1500 volunteers from around the country. Volunteers from Colorado and Wyoming have stepped up to join the massive humanitarian effort. They are giving time and energy to those in need. Since the flooding began we deployed 17 volunteers and 2 staff members to help in Louisiana. A typical deployment for a disaster response is 14 to 21 days. During those days the volunteers work 12 to 14 hour days helping people. Some help by delivering food or cleanup items. Some help at shelters making sure people are comfortable and that they have what they need. Others provide medical support to get additional medications, checking blood pressure or helping the elderly or people with special needs while others provide that very important emotional support. 

In addition we have seven volunteers who are supporting the disaster response virtually from home. These volunteers work shifts at home waiting for calls from people in Louisiana. They work directly with individuals whose homes have been impacted.
 That brings the total number of Colorado and Wyoming volunteers involved in the Louisiana response to 24 plus two staff members. 

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

People can also visit 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 today to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application.

HOW TO HELP People can donate by visiting, 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.

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