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Power Outage and Torrential Rain Cause Back to Back Shelter Openings

Power Outage and Torrential Rain Cause Back to Back Shelter Openings
“This was an amazing coordinated effort," volunteer PIO Lisa Harris

From Long Beach to West Hollywood, the Red Cross helped open and operate two disaster shelters for displaced residents during the weekend of July 18. 

As a result of an extended power outage in Long Beach that began July 15, the City of Long Beach opened a shelter at CesarChavez Park Community Center on July 17, which was supported and staffed by trained Red Cross disaster personnel. Fourteen residents came in from the dark and received meals and snacks from Red Cross volunteers. Prior to the shelter opening, Red Cross volunteers had already been on the scene beginning July 15 when a Disaster Action Team responded to an apartment house fire shortly after the underground explosions that caused the outage. In addition, volunteers in Emergency Response Vehicles also provided canteen services. 

The shelter closed on July 18. Greater Long Beach Chapter volunteer Lisa Harris, who acted as one of the Public Information Officers during the Long Beach shelter operations said, “This was an amazing coordinated effort. So proud of the Red Cross, my City, agency volunteers and city officials.” 

Shortly after the Long Beach shelter closed, residents of a 134-unit apartment complex on North West Knoll in West Hollywood were displaced as a result of flooding that occurred late on July 18. The Red Cross, City of West Hollywood and County officials opened a shelter at the West Hollywood Park auditorium and provided snacks, meals, comfort kits, blankets and cots for 40 people who were taken by bus to the shelter, as well as 15 others from the complex. 

The Red Cross also provided canteen services to clients and first responders. Disaster Program Manager Jeanne Woo reports that our Disaster Action Team was on-scene in just over an hour of notification.