As temperatures drop to record lows in many parts of South Louisiana Red Cross volunteers are mobilizing to provide warming centers for those seeking refuge from bitterly cold temperatures, icy precipitation andbiting winds. The Red Cross is operating or supporting warming shelters in two parishes as of Tuesday morning.
“Many people in south Louisiana have never experienced dangerously cold, life-threatening weather,” said Kay W. Wilkins, CEO of the American Red Cross South Louisiana Region. “With subzero temperatures and wind chill advisories in effect for our area, we want to make sure everyone has a chance to stay warm and dry.”
Red Cross and partner warming shelters are located at:
Calcasieu Parish: Purple Heart Memorial Recreation Center, 4305 Avenue H, Lake Charles, LA 70615
St. Tammany Parish: John Slidell Park Gym, 105 Robert Blvd. Slidell, LA 70459
"State Police and emergency managers are advising people to stay off of the streets,” said Brian Burton, chairman of the board of the Southwest Louisiana Red Cross. “It is very important to follow these directions for your safety and others'. If you must leave your home for the shelter, we urge you to go now as road conditions are deteriorating and some are closing."
The Red Cross continues coordination with parish officials, emergency managers and state leaders regarding further shelter needs and Red Cross support.
Anyone evacuating to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family:
• Prescriptions and emergency medications
• Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements
• Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items
• Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys
• Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled
When disaster strikes know when and where shelters have been opened to provide assistance. The Red Cross Shelter Finder is available in theiTunes storeand works on iOS devices. The Shelter Finder displays open Red Cross shelters and their current population on an easy to use map interface.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of thenation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The RedCross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.