PORTLAND (Thursday, September 8th) — This afternoon, Wanda Lemar, (of Dresden) departed from the Portland Jetport to join the disaster relief efforts in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
As part of the American Red Cross Logistics Team in Louisiana, Wanda will assist in tracking the more than 80 Emergency Response Vehicles, including one from Maine, that have been traveling throughout the affected neighborhoods distributing food, water and relief supplies – which include personal hygiene items, insect repellant, cleaning kits and bleach.
Wanda Lemar, a Processing Representative within the Inventory Control Department, is part of a team of L.L. Bean’s Sheltering Team, which is able to set up and manage a Red Cross shelter within the first 48 hours of a disaster response. This will be Wanda’s first deployment on a disaster response effort with the Red Cross.
Red Cross disaster teams remain on the ground in Louisiana, providing shelter, food, relief supplies and casework assistance to people still picking up the pieces from the devastating flooding that began on August 11th. More than 4,200 Red Crossers – from all 50 states – have tirelessly supported relief efforts since the flooding began. Over 90 percent of these trained disaster workers are volunteers.
To date the Red Cross and our partners have:
• Served more than 1,022,000 meals and snacks;
• Distributed more than 679,000 relief items;
• Provided more than 72,000 overnight stays in emergency shelters;
• Handled more than 34,000 calls from people seeking help; and
• Provided more than 34,000 health services and emotional support contacts.
At this point in the disaster response, Red Crossers are beginning to provide casework. This means talking with people individually and providing them an opportunity to share their needs with a trained caseworker who coordinates follow-up services.
Recovering from a disaster can be a confusing, emotionally draining and complicated process. Red Cross caseworkers are trained to help people create recovery plans and locate help from other agencies. Each community and each family will have different needs, and will require different support to meet those needs.
Since the flood began on August 11th, 15 Red Cross in Maine volunteers have traveled to the region to provide support and comfort in the wake of this historic flooding. Those Mainers include; Yvette Lizotte (of Norway), Josephine Wood (of Waterville), Romeo Bouchard (of Woodland), Tyler Low (of Lewiston), Shirley Woodard (of Saco), Carol Bray (of Deer Isle), Joyce Baron (of Athens), Ruth Lathrop (of Windham), Randy Eldridge (of Orland), Barbara Jurgen (of Arundel), Darlene Helms (of Hampden), Dotty Lanphear (of Camden), Margaret Rode (of Tenants Harbor), Sharon Collin (of Cumberland Foreside) and Todd Tisdale (of Farmington).
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. Learn more at MaineRedCross.org, on Twitter (ARC_Maine), or Facebook (American Red Cross of Maine).