August 15, 2016 - More than 500 Red Cross disaster volunteers from around the country --- including six people located around the LA Region --- are headed to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to help thousands of people affected by massive flooding. This incident is being called the worst natural disaster since Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
The following volunteers from across the Southland are helping with feeding and sheltering operations at the 30+ shelters that have already been opened: Scott Sapers, Montebello; Joselito Garcia, Los Angeles; Mary Hughes, Lakewood; Christina Jimenez, Valley Village; Joe Green, West Hollywood and Konnie Cook-Withers, Lancaster. At least 20 volunteers are expected to be deployed over the next several weeks and will remain in Louisiana for two weeks. Preliminary reports indicate as many as 10,000 homes are damaged or destroyed, impacting at least 40,000 people. Many of the Louisiana Red Cross volunteers helping their neighbors have also been affected by the flooding.
The Red Cross, which expects to conduct active relief operations in Louisiana for at least 6-8 weeks, has also mobilized 60 disaster response vehicles, 40,000 ready-to-eat meals and more than two dozen trailer loads of shelter and kitchen supplies. The Red Cross is also 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 and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints volunteers.
“Initial reports indicate responding to this disaster could cost more than $10 million,” said Jarrett Barrios, CEO Red Cross Los Angeles Region. “The Red Cross depends on the generosity of the public to support our work. We urgently need people to join us in supporting Louisiana by making a financial donation today, as well as to consider volunteering to help us provide relief on the ground.”