For more than a month, thousands of American Red Cross disaster workers have been helping people in Louisiana impacted by the devastating flooding.
The operation isn’t over. From the Southern Tier, two volunteers are departing for Baton Rouge. Abigail Mack of Conklin will help to provide disaster mental health services, while Greg Papa of Vestal will serve as a mass care feeding supervisor. For Papa, it will be his second deployment to help the people of Louisiana. In late August, he drove an Emergency Response Vehicle to the region and remained for two weeks to deliver food, water and other relief supplies to impacted neighborhoods.
Dozens of volunteers from the Western and Central New York Region, including 16 from the Southern Tier, have been involved in the relief operation. The Red Cross provided emergency assistance in the form of shelter, food and comfort, and is still in Louisiana making sure people get the help they need as they plan their next steps.
Since the flooding began, more than 4,600 Red Cross workers from every state in the country and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have:
Served more than 1.2 million meals and snacks.
Distributed almost 700,000 relief items.
Provided more than 78,000 overnight stays in emergency shelters, more than the number of overnight stays provided during Superstorm Sandy.
Handled nearly 40,000 calls from people seeking help.
Provided more than 40,000 health services and emotional support contacts.
Every day more people are leaving shelters in Louisiana as they find more suitable housing. However, several hundred people are still in shelters and the Red Cross is working with partners and agencies to find them more suitable housing. Some of the people staying in shelters who can’t return home due to flooding damage are being helped through government programs, which may include relocating survivors to hotels or other temporary housing solutions. Some shelter residents will be helped through other community programs.
Red Cross workers are connecting people in Louisiana to the critical services and resources they need to recover, including limited financial assistance for those who qualify.
How to Help:
The Red Cross relies on financial contributions to provide help and comfort to disaster victims anywhere, anytime. People can help those affected by disasters large and small by donating to American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting http://redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS, or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
It has been a busy year for disasters across the country. Thousands of volunteers have deployed – some numerous times – to support people in need. The time and talent of every volunteer makes a real difference in people’s lives. To join, visit http://redcross.org to learn about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application.