Hurricane Laura came ashore as a category four hurricane and is one of the strongest hurricanes ever to make landfall in Louisiana. Homes and businesses are destroyed, some areas are still unreachable, heavy debris is blocking roads, and hundreds of thousands of people remain without power and water. People are also facing heat advisories and dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Some have seen their homes destroyed after being out of work for months due to COVID-19.
While the full extent of damage isn’t yet known, preliminary estimates indicate that thousands of homes could either be destroyed or have major damage across Louisiana and Texas.
The Red Cross is on the ground working closely with local officials and partners to mount a massive relief effort to provide help to those in need. Twenty nine volunteers from the Illinois region are among more than 1,300 trained disaster workers mobilized by the Red Cross to help people affected by Hurricane Laura in Texas and Louisiana. More local volunteers will continue to be deployed to assist those in need.
MEDIA AVAILABILITY – Brian McDaniel, executive director of the Illinois River Valley chapter of the Red Cross is deployed from the Chicagoland area and will be available for interviews. He will be in Lake Charles, Louisiana this afternoon. Call Hannah Allton: 312-533-8366 to coordinate.
B-ROLL AND PHOTOS
The media can access Red Cross b-roll of Hurricane Laura response efforts here. Click here for photos.
About 20,000 people are being provided a safe place to stay by various agencies in emergency lodgings, including shelters, and in some circumstances, hotels.
Red Cross workers are helping to replace prescription medications, eyeglasses and offer emotional support. In some instances, the Red Cross is supporting local shelters by providing cots, blankets, personal protective equipment and ready-to-eat meals. Our volunteers are also helping to support evacuees placed in hotel rooms. We are working with a variety of community groups to set up kitchens and partnerships to help provide tens of thousands of meals daily.
Our work is only beginning. We know that recovery from a devastating hurricane like this takes time. In the weeks ahead, we will continue to coordinate with community and government partners to assess the damage, address urgent needs and provide support to help survivors rebuild.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: You can make a difference in the lives of people impacted by Hurricane Laura. Visit redcross.org, call 800-RED-CROSS or text the word LAURA to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
RED CROSS VOLUNTEERS RESPOND TO 26 FIRES IN THE PAST WEEK
In addition, volunteer disaster responders were busy assisting families impacted by home fires. Our volunteers responded to 26 fires in the Chicagoland area in the past week. Our volunteers helped residents affected by fires in Aurora, Bridgeview, Dixmoor, New Lenox, Joliet, Romeoville and more, with 11 of these incidents taking place in Chicago.
The Red Cross helped 68 individuals, including 54 adults and 14 children with temporary housing, health and mental health services and information about recovery services.
If you need assistance, please call our dispatch line: 1-877-597 0747. In Chicagoland, the Red Cross responds to 3 to 4 home fires every day.
HURRICANE DORIAN ANNIVERSARY
It has been one year since category 5 Hurricane Dorian crashed into the Bahamian islands on September 1, 2019. Dorian spun over the Bahamas for over 60 hours, devastating parts of the islands and displacing thousands of families. The American Red Cross has been on the ground supporting the Bahamas Red Cross since the storm hit providing supplies, food and water, home repair grants and providing cash assistance to families to help them get back on their feet. The Red Cross is also working to support small businesses affected by Dorian with cash grants as many business owners continue to face uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Red Cross continues to support the community dealing with these multiple disasters, while continuing to build resiliency and strengthen the volunteer workforce.
For Dorian photos, b-roll and updates or an interview from the Bahamas with Chicago area native, Holly Baker, you can contact email@example.com.
About the American Red Cross of Illinois
The American Red Cross of Illinois serves 12.4 million people in 88 counties in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri including Adams, Bond, Boone, Brown, Bureau, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cook, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, De Witt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Fulton, Green, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jasper, Jefferson, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Piatt, Pike, Putnam, Richland, Rock Island, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Vermillion, Warren, Washington, Whiteside, Will, Williamson Winnebago, Woodford. Iowa: Lee, Muscatine, Scott and Van Buren. Missouri: Clark, Lewis, Marion and Ralls. 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 Redcross.org/Illinois or visit us on Twitter @RedCrossIL.