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Red Cross volunteers opening shelter in Elm Grove

The American Red Cross is opening an emergency shelter today in Bossier to assist those affected by rising floodwaters and is ready to respond to additional needs. Red Cross workers are preparing to provide a safe place to sleep, food and emotional support for those with immediate, disaster-caused needs.

The shelter opening at 4 p.m. today is at Elm Grove Elementary, 1541 Old Highway 71, Elm Grove.

“Our thoughts are with all those impacted by these flood waters,” said Michelle Davison, executive director for the Red Cross in north Louisiana. “Red Cross disaster teams are helping and will continue to help.”

Anyone evacuating to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family:

  • Prescriptions and emergency medications
  • Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements
  • Identification to show residence is in affected area and important personal documents
  • Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items
  • Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys
  • Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled
  • Chargers for any electronic devices you bring with you
  • Books, games and other ways to entertain your family and yourself
  • Public health regulations do not permit pets in shelters; service animals are permitted.
  • STAY SAFE

    With floodwaters expected to increase in the coming days, the Red Cross encourages our neighbors to prepare. Get a kit, make a plan, be prepared.

  • Stay informed of flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service.
  • Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off your feet.
  • If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
  • Watch out for wildlife, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into your home with floodwater.
  • We urge you to share these Red Cross preparedness tips with every member of your household, because the best protection is to be prepared ahead of time.

    DOWNLOAD THE FREE RED CROSS EMERGENCY APP

    The app provides instant access to weather and emergency alerts, life-saving information and ways to contact family and friends in case an event occurs. The app covers 14 types of disasters including flood, tornado and severe thunderstorm and lets users customize more than 35 emergency alerts for themselves and where loved ones live. The app contains preloaded content so users can access guidance from Red Cross experts even without mobile connectivity, such as what to do before, during and after disasters. It also includes a real-time map to help you find the location of Red Cross shelters should you need to leave home. The app is available in app stores by searching for the Red Cross Emergency or by going to redcross.org/apps.

    “I’M SAFE”

    In an emergency, letting your loved ones know you are safe can bring them great peace of mind. The Red Cross can help you stay in touch with loved ones after a disaster. “Family Safe” is a unique feature that allows the app user to notify loved ones who are in an area affected by an emergency or disaster and find out if they are safe. The recipient can instantly see the alert details as well as specific “what to do now” steps, and then respond with either “I’m safe” or “I’m not safe.” This feature works even if the recipient has not downloaded the Emergency App.

    VOLUNTEERING

    The Red Cross will offer new and existing volunteers training in the fundamentals of sheltering this Tuesday (June 2), 9 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Red Cross office in Shreveport, 805 Brook Hollow Drive. 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. Red Cross volunteers and potential volunteers who would like to attend Tuesday’s training should register by contacting Maureen Gallagher at Maureen.Gallagher@redcross.org or (800) 229-8191 ext. 3132. Learn more about Red Cross volunteering and register online at redcross.org/volunteer.

    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 floods, 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, or to the American Red Cross, 805 Brook Hollow Drive, Shreveport, LA 71105.

    For more updates, follow the American Red Cross in Northwest Louisiana on Facebook at @American Red Cross – Northwest Louisiana. You can also contact the office at (318) 865-9545 or call 1-800-REDCROSS.

    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. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.