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One Month Post Louisiana Flood – The American Red Cross Response Continues

Contact: Joy Squier 

Office: (630)220-9468 | Cell: (312) 384-0454 | 24/7 Media Line: (312) 907-0520 

Chicago & Northern Illinois Regional Red Cross CEO, Celena Roldán Deploys to Louisiana to Aid in Recovery Effort

CHICAGO, IL (September 16, 2016) — One month after deadly floods ravaged communities in Louisiana, the American Red Cross continues to support thousands of people beginning to rebuild their lives.  

Last month’s record flooding caused by a storm that dumped nearly 7 trillion gallons of rain, is the worst disaster to strike the U.S. since Superstorm Sandy in 2012.  Rising waters affected an estimated 120,000 homes, forcing many residents to flee.  As a result, this disaster has caused the largest volume of people in need of emergency shelter and food in the last four years.  During the peak of this disaster, more than 70 shelters were open and over the course of the past month 77,000 overnight stays and 1.2M meals and snacks have been provided.   

In the face of so much loss, more than 4,500 Red Cross workers – over 90% volunteers – have mounted this massive response. Many are still working in Louisiana on the response and the recovery phase for this disaster. Over 50 of these dedicated disaster workers were sent from the Chicago area. 

Celena Roldán, the new Chief Executive Officer for the Chicago & Northern Illinois Red Cross region deployed today to Louisiana to lead a portion of the recovery operation.  Roldán will be working as part of the on-the-ground team administering relief to those whose homes have had ‘major’ disaster damage, but for various reasons are not eligible for federal disaster assistance.  As part of this recovery process, Roldán will likely be reaching out to many diverse local populations and their community leaders regarding Red Cross relief.  Roldán’s background with national immigration organizations is likely to be helpful in the outreach efforts.  

“I am honored to go to Louisiana to help administer our mission and aid in the recovery of those that have been impacted by these devastating floodwaters,” said Roldán.  “One month after the floods, the Red Cross is still helping in Louisiana and our response is far from over. Devastation such as this requires time and resources for people to get back on their feet. I am proud to be part of the team.”  

Roldán will work alongside teams of Red Cross workers from across the country.  Workers from all 50 states including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have been deployed to aid in the Louisiana flood response and recovery process.  

HOW TO HELP.  People can become a Red Cross volunteer at or help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. 

About the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois: 

The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois serves 9.5 million people in 21 counties including Boone, Bureau, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will and Winnebago. 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 us at or visit us on Twitter @ChicagoRedCross.