Monday, August 15, 2016

Colorado Volunteers will bring help and hope to Louisiana

Update: 3 p.m., Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Colorado and Wyoming Region support for the Louisiana Flood response continues to grow. On Thursday, August 18, 2016 two additional volunteers will depart to bring help and hope to the people of Louisiana whose lives have been devastated by this event.

Charlotte Hardy, a volunteer from Powell, WY, will travel to Baton Rouge, LA to serve as a supervisor at one of the Red Cross shelters. As such she will ensure that the needs of the people are being met and helping start them on the road to recovery.

Lezah Saunders, a volunteer from Ouray, CO, will travel to Baton Rouge, LA to serve as a Government Liaison. She will work closely with local, state and federal governments to identify the needs of those affected and coordinate the appropriate response.

Courtney Robinson (center) says she is nearly certain that
her home is destroyed because of the record flooding
 in southern Louisiana. She’s staying at a Red Cross
 shelter with her children and husband, Jeff Harper.
Photo credit Red Cross
These volunteers are part of more than 1000 volunteers who have rallied to help the people of Louisiana.  On Tuesday night, more than 7,000 people were still seeking refuge in more than 34 Red Cross and community shelters in Louisiana. The Red Cross and partners have served nearly 100,000 meals and snacks since the onset of the flooding.

The Red Cross has also mobilized more than 60 disaster response vehicles, nearly 40,000 ready-to-eat meals, and more than two dozen trailer loads of shelter and kitchen supplies to bolster relief efforts. Some of the supplies arriving include water, personal hygiene items, insect repellent, cleaning kits, bleach and other important supplies.

The Red Cross urgently needs the public to join us in supporting Louisiana by making a financial donation today. You can help people affected by the Louisiana Floods by giving a donation on our web site,, by 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.

Update: 2 p.m., Tuesday, August 16,2016
Additional volunteers are heading to Louisiana
The Red Cross is working to support the needs of the people affected by the floods in Louisiana. By the end of this week there will be over 800 Red Cross volunteers in place to shelter, feed and comfort those people forced to leave their homes.

Two additional volunteers from Colorado will travel to Baton Rouge on Wednesday.

Ned Daly, from Littleton, CO who volunteers with the Mile High Area, will travel to Baton Rouge, LA to help supervise aspects of the supply distribution process. His work will be vital as the growing need for cleanup supplies and other items expands.

Maureen Kelly, from Centennial, CO, also volunteers with the Mile High Area. She will travel to Baton Rouge, LA on Wednesday to support the disaster assessment process. As the flood waters recede, trained Red Cross teams will go out an look at each home to determine the level of destruction. That information is fed back to the response headquarters to help with determining what additional resources will be needed to help the people affected.

Update:11 a.m. Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Red Cross volunteers unload supplies at the warehouse
in Baton Rouge. Photo credit Red Cross
Support from Colorado and Wyoming continues to materialize as staff, volunteers and equipment are being staged to deploy. Deployment numbers issued yesterday have changed.

At this time the following individuals are either scheduled to deploy or have already deployed.

Spencer Pollack - Executive Director for Wyoming Chapter has deployed to Red Cross Disaster Operations Center in Washington D.C. He will serve as a liaison to the disaster operations team in Louisiana providing situational awareness for National headquarters.

Volunteer Catherine Leventhall monitors social media
at the Digital Ops Center in Dallas. Photo credit
Red Cross
Catherine Leventhal - Colorado Public Affairs volunteer from the Denver area has deployed to the Digital Operations Center in Dallas, TX. Her role is to monitor social media to maintain awareness of social media conversations that might impact the disaster response.

Luba Epshtein - a volunteer Red Cross nurse from Aurora, CO with the Mile High Area deployed to Baton Rouge, LA to support health services needs of those people affected by the floods.

Two Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV) will deploy to Louisiana on Thursday. Their departure will be at 9 a.m. with arrival at Baton Rouge sometime on Saturday. The following volunteers will travel with the ERVs to help with the delivery of food and other supplies to those affected by the floods..

An ERV in Baton Rouge waits to take on supplies. Photo
credit Red Cross
Arden Anderson - volunteer from Gunnison, CO with the Red Cross of Western Colorado.
Kevin Erikson - from Centennial, CO volunteers with the Mile High Area.
Suzanne Faerber - from Conifer, CO volunteers with the Mile High Area.
Rose Knight - from Colorado Springs volunteers with the Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado.
Update:2 p.m. Monday, August 15, 2016
The American Red Cross has mounted a massive response to help the people of Louisiana recover from the record rainfall and flooding. More than 500 Red Cross volunteers are on the way from across the country along with over 60 Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV). "This will be one of the biggest responses since our response to Hurricane Sandy," said Gino Greco, CEO for the Colorado and Wyoming Region.

The Red Cross has opened 50 shelters in an effort to house more than 10,000 people who have had to leave their homes.

Red Cross volunteers and staff will be heading to Louisiana this week. The first to go will be drivers for the Emergency Response Vehicles from Grand Junction and Fort Collins. Each ERV is deployed with a team of two and they will be leaving from Denver Wednesday morning. The ERV teams will deliver food and water to shelters and when it is safe they will deliver cleanup supplies to individual homes.

Colorado Volunteers will drive an ERV similar to
the one in the photo to help the people of Louisiana.
Photo credit:American Red Cross
Suzanne Faerber is one of the team members who will be taking the ERV to Louisiana. She has been a volunteer for three years and recently deployed to help people affected by floods in south Texas. "I really sympathize with the people in Louisiana. The suffering I saw in Texas made me realize how important the Red Cross is when there is a large disaster," she said. "I am glad I can go there and help them." A typical Red Cross deployment is for 14 to 21 days.

Also deploying to Baton Rouge, LA are volunteers Arden Anderson from Gunnison and Kevin Erickson from Denver. Colorado volunteers will also provide remote support via phone for individual client casework. The volunteers are titled Virtual Call Agents and will work from home to help people in Louisiana connect with Red Cross services. Volunteer Paul Lucas has been designated as a Virtual Call Agent.

How can you help?

We are in the early stages of the response and our goal is to try and meet the immediate needs of those affected by providing food, water and shelter.

You can help the Red Cross help the people of Louisiana by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief. A special designation has been identified that will direct fund directly to the response. You can go to and then select LAFloods as a designation. You can call 1-800-RedCross and select Donate. Make sure you ask to designate the donation to the LAFloods. To make a $10 donation you can text the words LAFLOODS to 90999. The donation will show on your cellular provider bill.

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