As a partner of a network of 186 Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies worldwide, the Acadiana Area Chapter was founded in 1918 as a chartered unit of the American National Red Cross. The chapter serves the 585,000 residents of Lafayette, Acadia, Evangeline, St. Landry, St. Martin, Iberia and Vermillion parishes.
In the years since its founding, the chapter has evolved with the needs of our community, but our core mission remains focused on alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
Disaster Action Team members are volunteers – people like you – who respond to the call day or night to help local people affected by disasters.
The most-common disaster is the single-family home fire. On an average of once every 58 hours, Red Cross DAT members are on the scene in Acadiana to help a family whose home has been damaged or destroyed by fire. They assess the situation, provide for emergency needs and coordinate with other agencies to help the family on the road to recovery.
Our communities are vulnerable to hurricane wind and storm surge damage. And our volunteers may be called upon to work in evacuation, pre-landfall sheltering, damage assessment, bulk distribution and casework, not only here at home, but across South Louisiana and in other coastal locations.
The American Red Cross is chartered by Congress to provide assistance to disaster victims, but we do not receive government funding to do this. We rely on you. Your financial contributions and volunteer efforts make it possible to offer our disaster assistance at no charge to our clients. All volunteer training is free. To learn how you can get involved, check out the Volunteer section of this site.
History of the Acadiana Area Chapter of the American Red Cross
2005Opened the Cajundome in Lafayette to 15,000 Hurricane Katrina evacuees. Three weeks later, Hurricane Rita hit and the chapter made room for 2,500 more residents of Vermillion, Iberia and Cameron parishes. Sheltering continued for three months before evacuees were able to relocate to more permanent housing.
1992Responded to Hurricane Andrew, which brought destruction that, at the time, was the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.
1927Responded to the Great Mississippi River Floods.
1918Supported Military through World War I. Responded to the world-wide influenza epidemic.
1917Chapter chartered in Acadiana.