In the wake of Hurricane Delta, residents of Louisiana are once again beginning a massive cleanup job just a little over six weeks after Hurricane Laura hit the same communities. The American Red Cross is there, working closely with local officials and partners to help those affected by the 4th named storm to hit Louisiana this hurricane season.
Delta is the 10th hurricane or tropical storm to make landfall in the U.S. this season, breaking a national record set in 1916.
Many streets were already lined with debris from Laura when Delta dumped more than a foot of rain on the area, inundating the same communities where Hurricane Laura caused heartbreaking devastation. People are beginning to assess the damage from Hurricane Delta, where many roads remain flooded and more than 200,000 are without power in Louisiana and Mississippi. Major river flooding could continue in Louisiana through much of this week. As what’s left of Hurricane Delta moves north, the storm is bringing heavy rain and wind as far away as the Northeast.
Above all, we urge people to stay out of harm’s way. If you have been evacuated, do not return until local officials tell you it is safe to do so.
RED CROSS RESPONSE Some 720 trained Red Cross disaster workers are supporting shelters and emergency relief efforts either on the ground or virtually. Our work, which is just beginning, is focused on making sure people have a safe place to stay, food to eat, emotional support and other assistance.
On Sunday night, the Red Cross and our partners provided 9,300 people with a safe refuge in areas affected by Hurricanes Laura and Delta. Teams of Red Cross volunteers are circulating through accessible areas to assess damage and provide food, water and snacks.
Volunteers are also providing individual care contacts to help people with medical or disability needs, as well as providing emotional and spiritual support during these challenging times. This includes replacing prescription medications, eyeglasses or other medical equipment.
The Red Cross pre-positioned volunteers, shelter supplies and 60,000 ready-to-eat meals all along the Gulf Coast in advance of Delta. More supplies and volunteers are being mobilized now. It’s important to remember that responding to disasters is a team effort and no single organization can do it alone — this is particularly true in this current environment.
FIND A SHELTER We urge people to stay out of harm’s way above all; listen to the advice of local officials and call 911 for assistance in life-threatening situations. To find a safe place to stay, listen to local officials for guidance or call 211. You can also visit redcross.org or view open shelters through the Red Cross Emergency app which is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps. Anyone who plans to evacuate should bring face masks, prescription medications, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, other comfort items and important documents. Don’t forget to bring any special items for children, such as diapers, formula and toys, or for family members who have unique needs.
Follow CDC guidelines around social distancing and wear a face covering to ensure that your evacuation is as safe as possible. If you are coming to a shelter, bring your emergency kit, medications, bedding, clothing and any special items needed for young children and anyone with special needs.
Due to COVID-19, the Red Cross is unable to welcome pets into our shelters for everyone’s safety. If you are evacuating with pets, please consider visiting RedRover.org to view their resource list of pet-friendly evacuation shelters and tips.
YOU CAN HELP by making a donation or becoming a volunteer today. Make a donation to help people affected by Delta by visiting redcross.org, calling 800-RED-CROSS or texting the word DELTA to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster. This includes providing food, shelter, relief supplies, emotional support and other assistance. Ensure your donation helps people affected by Hurricane Delta by choosing that option on redcross.org/donate or 800-RED-CROSS.
If you have the time, you can make a significant impact as a Red Cross volunteer. Review our most urgently needed volunteer positions at redcross.org/volunteertoday.
Financial donations are the best way to get help to those who need it most. Donations of clothing and household items divert resources away from our mission – it takes time and money to store, sort, clean and distribute donated items. Financial donations can be accessed quickly and allow more flexibility to give people what they need most.
We might accept large, bulk donations of new items if they fit the needs of people affected, but first, please call the Red Cross to see if these items are needed. When possible, the Red Cross partners with organizations that manage donations of goods as part of their primary mission. In all cases, due to health code regulations, the Red Cross cannot accept donations of homecooked meals or food items not prepared in a commercial kitchen.
FLOODING SAFETY Tune into your local radio, NOAA radio or news channel for the latest updates. If flooding starts to occur, move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground. Follow evacuation orders and don’t return until officials say it is safe.
- Turn around, don’t drown! Stay off the roads. If you must drive and you encounter a flooded roadway, turn around and go another way.
- If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising around you, quickly get out of the car, move to higher ground and stay there. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
- Stay away from floodwaters. Beware of snakes, insects and other animals that may be in or around floodwaters and your home.
- Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwaters.
- If power lines are down, don’t step in puddles or standing water.
- Wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and boots, and be cautious when cleaning up.
GENERATOR SAFETY If you are using a generator, keep it dry and don’t use it in wet conditions.
- When inside your home, never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices. This also applies to your garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Keep these devices outside away from doors, windows and vents, which could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.
- Operate the generator on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure, such as under a tarp held up by poles.
- Don’t touch a generator with wet hands.
- Turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.
- Plug appliances directly into the generator. Never plug a generator into a wall outlet.
POWER OUTAGE SAFETY For prolonged power outages, there are ways that you can minimize loss and keep everyone as comfortable as possible.
- Use flashlights in the dark — not candles.
- Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights will be out and roads will be congested.
- Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment.
- Turn off or disconnect any appliances — such as stoves — equipment and electronics that you were using when the power went out. When power comes back on, surges or spikes can damage equipment.
- Leave one light on, so you’ll know when power is restored.
- During a prolonged outage, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to protect your food. First, use perishable food from the refrigerator. Then, use food from the freezer. If the power outage continues beyond a day, prepare a cooler with ice for your freezer items. Keep food in a dry, cool spot and cover it at all times.