American Red Cross disaster workers are helping thousands of Louisiana residents with a safe place to stay and food to eat despite closed roads and continued flooding making it challenging to get relief supplies to where they are needed.
“The current flooding in Louisiana is the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Superstorm Sandy,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president, Disaster Services Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. “The Red Cross is mounting a massive relief operation, which we anticipate will cost at least $30 million and that number may grow as we learn more about the scope and magnitude of the devastation."
A total of 21 volunteers from the Western and Central New York Region are currently part of the massive response efforts in Louisiana (four new deployments in bold):
Central New York Chapter:
John Aldasch Canastota Sheltering
John Carroll Camillus Service Associate - Feeding
Harry Dashnau Baldwinsville Sheltering
Ed Dienst Skaneateles Community Partnerships
Gordon Howard Tully Bulk Distribution
William Morris Syracuse Bulk Distribution Supervisor
Robert Mueller Manlius Service Associate - Feeding
Mark Paikin Fayetteville Staff Relations Manager
Ken Stapleton Cicero Disaster Assessment
Frank VanSickle Cortland Client Casework (virtual)
Finger Lakes Chapter:
Lorraine Morris Bath Disaster Services Technology
Greater Rochester Chapter:
Gail Hirst Rochester Client Casework (virtual)
Sarah Perkins Pittsford Disaster Assessment
James Robinson East Rochester Bulk Distribution
Southern Tier Chapter
Susan Barr Brooktondale Sheltering
Donald Nelson Endicott Shelter Supervisor
Joseph Stover Dryden Logistics – Warehouse Manager
Michael Thomas Ithaca Shelter Supervisor
Peter Zelno Vestal Bulk Distribution
Western New York Chapter:
Diane Sargent Lockport Bulk Distribution
Cynthia Manne Depew Disaster Mental Health
Monday night more than 8,400 people sought refuge in 36 Red Cross and community shelters in Louisiana. More than 1,000 Red Cross disaster volunteers have been mobilized from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to help with the Louisiana relief efforts. The Red Cross is also mobilizing over 60 disaster response vehicles, nearly 40,000 ready-to-eat meals, and dozens of trailers filled with shelter and kitchen supplies. See more about the Red Cross response here.
“People in Louisiana urgently need our help now,” continued Kieserman. “Please consider making a financial donation to the Red Cross today.”
HOW TO HELP People in Louisiana are facing a dire situation. Floodwaters still cover neighborhoods. An estimated 25,000 homes are damaged, affecting at least 75,000 people. Thousands of people have no power when it feels like 99 degrees outside and more than 100 roads are closed. People can donate by visiting redcross.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover 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.
JOINT RELIEF EFFORT The Red Cross is working closely with the entire response community to coordinate relief efforts and deliver help quickly and efficiently, keeping in mind the diverse needs of the community. Some of the organizations sending help to the area include Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, the NAACP, Islamic Relief USA, Church of the Brethren Children’s Disaster Services, Save the Children, AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, AFL-CIO, Verizon, Duracell, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Baton Route YMCA and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints volunteers.