March 4, 2016 – American Red Cross disaster responders continue to provide relief and comfort to southeast Louisiana residents as they recover from last week’s tornadoes. As efforts have progressed, Red Cross volunteers have begun meeting one-on-one with residents to help with their recovery plans, navigate paperwork and locate assistance from the Red Cross and other agencies.
Volunteers like Claudia and Bobby Boudreaux have been providing hot meals and snacks – more than 16,500 – since the Feb. 23 storms to provide for neighbors whose homes have been destroyed or damaged in 10 parishes, and encouraging residents along the way.
“You’ve got nothing to eat, nothing to cook on,” said Livingston, La., resident Calvin Taylor. “It feels good to have the Red Cross bring food. It gives peace of mind.”
Because of the support of individual donors and annual leadership partners like Entergy Louisiana, more than 150 Red Cross disaster responders have been in action serving our neighbors since before the storms touched down early last week.
Dozens of response vehicles have been driving through storm-damaged neighborhoods, delivering food, water and clean-up supplies such as bleach and other disinfectants, gloves, trash bags, brooms and mops. Trained Red Cross health and mental health workers also have been providing services to residents, including emotional support, coping strategies and replacement prescription medications and other items.
“It’s been heart-wrenching to see the destruction this storm has caused and that so many people have lost everything while heart-warming to see the continuous efforts of volunteers, partners and donors to support our neighbors,” said Kay W. Wilkins, chief executive of the Red Cross in Louisiana.
Entergy Louisiana, LLC, is a member of the Red Cross Disaster Responder Program who annually pre-invests in disaster relief to ensure the Red Cross could pre-position supplies, secure shelters, maintain vehicles and train volunteers.
“Thanks to Entergy’s generosity to the Red Cross and our community, we were ready to respond and can remain on hand to assist people as they recover and help them become better prepared for the next disaster,” Wilkins said.
Entergy Louisiana provides electric service to more than 1 million customers, with natural gas service to about 93,000 customers in the greater Baton Rouge area.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who were affected by the horrific storms of Feb. 23,” said Phillip May, president and CEO of Entergy Louisiana, LLC. “As we worked to restore power, we were inspired by your courage and resilience. It reinforced our belief that our commitment to customers extends beyond restoring power. It’s why we join with partners like the Red Cross to help our neighbors in need.”
Since Feb. 23, Red Cross workers have:
- Served 16,500 meals and snacks
- Distributed more than 18,250 relief supplies including personal care items and cleaning products
- Provided 26 overnight stays in shelters
- Made over 700 mental health or health-related contacts
In addition to the Red Cross, communities groups and partners such as the Salvation Army, Southern Baptist, Catholic Charities, Celebration Church and Destiny Christian Center of Laplace, First Community Antioch Baptist Church and King David Baptist Church in Lutcher, Pilgrim Full Gospel Church in Convent and others have provided meals, snacks, relief supplies and emotional support.
At this time, the American Red Cross in Louisiana is fortunate to have volunteers who are trained, ready and willing to support our response to the relief efforts in our communities. We thank individuals and community groups who are willing to support this effort and encourage them to register to become new volunteers to help with future disaster responses. Learn more and register online at redcross.org/volunteer and complete the online application.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people.
Help people affected by disasters like tornadoes and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org/donate, or call 1-800-REDCROSS. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.