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Local Volunteers deploy to assist with Hurricane Isaac

Long Beach, August 29, 2012 – As Hurricane Isaac hammers communities along the Gulf Coast, the Red Cross is responding across multiple states – providing thousands of people with a safe, dry place to stay and something to eat. The Greater Long Beach Chapter and Rio Hondo Chapters of the American Red Cross have deployed six local volunteers Richard Poulin, of Downey, James Thomas of Long Beach, Olivia Garofolo of Downey, Roland Barnes of La Mirada, Lorainne Voelker of Long Beach, Russell Owens of La Palma and one staff member Greater Long Beach Chapter COO Ian Whyte to assist with the relief efforts.

Local volunteers and staff join more than 2,700 disaster workers throughout Gulf Coast providing assistance to the thousands of individuals evacuated. The Red Cross is focused now on people’s emergency needs – last night more than 5,200 people stayed in as many as 80 Red Cross or community shelters in 6 states and expect many more people coming to shelters.

The Red Cross has 311,000 ready-to-eat meals and kitchen support trailers in the area. In addition, the Southern Baptist Convention has mobile kitchens capable of producing thousands of meals a day prepositioned alongside the Red Cross. Across the Gulf Coast, 187 Red Cross emergency response vehicles are ready to move in to serve meals and distribute relief items once it’s safe to do so.

This is a very large relief response that will last a long time. The Red Cross will be there for weeks helping people recover, and after a difficult summer of responding to wildfires, power outages and floods, Red Cross resources are stretched. People can click or text to donate by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

About the American Red Cross:

The Greater Long Beach and Rio Hondo Chapters serve the cities of: Artesia, Bellflower, Bell Gardens, Carson, Cerritos, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, Lakewood, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, Long Beach, Montebello, Norwalk, Paramount, Pico Rivera, San Pedro, Santa Fe Springs, Signal Hill, Whittier, Wilmington and Catalina Island. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog.