By Anthony Morrison
Angela Patterson of Greene County is no stranger to being sent to disaster areas by the Red Cross. She has been deployed several times all over the United States to assist with floods, wildfires, tornados and hurricanes. She says she simply enjoys helping out anyway she can. More than 2,200 trained Red Cross disaster workers from all over the United States have deployed to the Gulf region to help with Hurricane Isaac and Angela Patterson of the Greene County Chapter is one of them. Patterson was assigned to Baton Rouge and surrounding areas to assist with sheltering operations.
She became a volunteer about seven years ago. “Hurricane Katrina inspired me to help others and I just enjoying helping people.” After Hurricane Isaac marched inland with strong winds and flooding, the Red Cross started provided thousands of people with food, shelter and other emergency services, an effort that is still underway. Red Cross officials say the focus is providing emergency needs as they move more volunteers, equipment and supplies into affected communities. More than 4,700 people sought refuge in the 80 Red Cross or community shelters in seven states. Monday night totals where down to 830 individuals in16 shelters.
As of Monday, the Red Cross had served more than 267,000 meals and snacks in partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). “We have 311,000 more ready-to-eat meals and kitchen support trailers in the area,” said Anthony Morrison, spokesman for the American Red Cross. “The Southern Baptist mobile kitchens are capable of producing thousands of meals a day with food supplied by the Red Cross.”
Before Isaac struck, the Red Cross pre-positioned 197 emergency response vehicles, additional volunteers and trailers of relief supplies just outside the impact area, in order to move assistance quickly into the affected communities. “This is a massive relief effort and the Red Cross will be here for weeks helping people recover,” Morrison added. “After a difficult summer of responding to wildfires, power outages and floods, Red Cross resources are stretched – and our costs are growing by the hour.”
Individuals may assist with the Red Cross’ Isaac relief efforts by clicking on www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting REDCROSS to 90999. Texting will result in an automatic $10 donation.