The American Red Cross and our partners are continuing to work around the clock to provide help after Hurricane Ida changed lives forever from the Gulf Coast to the Northeast. Power, water and roads are still affected in many areas, and Red Cross volunteers are there to provide support and comfort as people struggle to rebuild their lives.
As days go by, Ida’s full impact is being revealed — and the tragic loss of lives and the overwhelming destruction is heartbreaking. Preliminary damage reports indicate that thousands of homes have been left with major damage or were completely destroyed.
In the Northeast, hundreds of trained Red Cross workers are supporting relief efforts by operating emergency shelters, providing comfort, serving meals, distributing critical relief supplies, helping families plan their next steps and supporting those who are grieving loved ones.
People in need of refuge are staying in Red Cross and community shelters across the impacted area. Red Cross teams are working closely with local officials to help assess the damage left behind and make recovery plans for the coming days and weeks. Multi-agency resource centers will be opening in some areas to give residents the opportunity to learn about services available from a variety of organizations to help them rebuild their lives.
In some of the hardest hit areas, the Red Cross is distributing cleaning supplies like mops, bleach, buckets and trash bags to help families clean up. With the help of partners, the Red Cross has provided thousands of meals, snacks and relief supplies. Trained Red Cross volunteers have already made hundreds of contacts providing emotional support, health services and spiritual care for people in need.
Along the Gulf Coast, hundreds of trained Red Cross volunteers are working alongside our partners to reach people continuing to struggle with the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
In Louisiana, hundreds of thousands of customers remain without power and utility companies report full restoration isn’t likely until the end of September. The Red Cross is helping people across multiple states who are struggling with the heartbreaking damage left by Ida, along with widespread fuel shortages and power outages.
In some of the hardest hit parishes, the Red Cross has response vehicles circulating through accessible areas to provide meals, water and critical supplies such as comfort kits and cleaning items. While access to some areas is still challenging, we’re continuing to reach more people every day.
People in need of refuge are staying in Red Cross and community shelters across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. With the help of partners, the Red Cross has already provided tens of thousands of meals, snacks and relief items. Trained Red Cross volunteers have also made thousands of contacts providing emotional support, health services and spiritual care for people who’ve been evacuated.
Experts point to climate change as being partially responsible for the rapid strengthening of Ida before landfall, and for the torrential rains and widespread flooding that then devastated portions of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.
It’s important to remember that responding to a disaster of this size is a team effort and no single organization can do it alone — this is particularly true in this current environment.
HOW TO FIND A SHELTER Anyone in the affected areas that needs a safe place to stay should visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) or download the free Red Cross Emergency app by searching “American Red Cross” in your app store or by going to redcross.org/apps. for shelter locations.
In Louisiana, call 211 or text LASHELTER to 898-211 or NOLAREADY to 77295. Louisianans who are currently out of the state can reach 211 by calling 800-755-5175.
Everyone in Red Cross emergency shelters is required to wear face coverings. In addition, we’re using health screenings, enhanced cleaning procedures and encouraging social distancing.
We encourage people who plan to stay in a Red Cross shelter to bring 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.
Red Cross shelters are open to everyone in need, regardless of race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or citizenship status. All disaster assistance is free, and we don’t require people to show any kind of identification to enter a shelter — just their name and where they were living before the disaster.
HOW YOU CAN HELP To help people affected by Hurricane Ida, visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word IDA to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your gift is a commitment to helping people in need, and every single donation matters. Financial donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.
GIVE BLOOD The Red Cross urges individuals in unaffected areas of the country to make an appointment to give blood to ensure a sufficient blood supply remains available for patients. Schedule a blood or platelet donation appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733- 2767).
VOLUNTEER 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.
Follow these links for full safety information:
HEAT: Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees.
FLOOD: if you evacuated, don't return home until local officials have declared that it is safe to enter your community and you have the supplies you will need. If your home was damaged.
POWER OUTAGE: Use flashlights in the dark — not candles.
GENERATOR SAFETY: Keep these devices outside away from doors, windows and vents, which could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.