WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- One month after devastating and historic floodwaters destroyed entire neighborhoods in Louisiana, thousands of residents are still impacted and the American Red Cross is there, making sure people get the help they need. The unnamed storm, which deluged Louisiana with nearly 7 trillion gallons of rain, is the worst natural disaster to hit the United States since Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
"Imagine yourself without shelter, clean clothes or even a toothbrush. Thousands of people in Louisiana faced just that when floodwaters overtook their homes," said Gail McGovern, Red Cross President and CEO. "Our disaster volunteers immediately got to work, making sure affected individuals and families had a safe place to stay, food to eat and a shoulder to lean on. One month later, the Red Cross is still helping in Louisiana, thanks to the generous financial donations which have enabled us to provide comfort, support and hope to flood survivors."
RED CROSS RESPONSE
"One month ago, we launched a massive relief operation across much of Louisiana. We've served over a million meals and snacks – enough food for 14 times the number of people who attended the last Super Bowl. We've also provided more than 73,000 overnight stays in emergency shelters – and with many shelters still open, we very soon expect to surpass the number of overnight stays we provided during Superstorm Sandy," reported Brad Kieserman, vice president, Disaster Services Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. "One month in, a lot of great progress has been made, but this operation isn't over, and we won't leave while people in Louisiana still need our help."
In the last month, more than 4,200 Red Crossers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico traveled to Louisiana, where they have worked around the clock to help people affected by the flooding. Over 90 percent of these trained disaster workers are volunteers. As of September 9, the Red Cross and partners have:
- Served 1,050,000 meals and snacks in Louisiana
- Provided more than 73,000 overnight stays in shelters. Shelters are still open and 850 people spent Thursday night in 9 Red Cross and community shelters
- Distributed more than 683,000 relief items
- Handled more than 35,000 calls from people needing help
- Provided more than 35,000 health services and emotional support contacts
CASEWORK AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE
Red Cross workers are connecting people in Louisiana to the critical services and resources they need to recover, including limited financial assistance for those who qualify. Several thousand households have already registered for this help.
People impacted by the flooding are urged to register with FEMA, as there is federal assistance available. For those who do not qualify for this federal disaster assistance, the Red Cross will be able to provide limited financial assistance to ensure that they have access to additional support.
Red Cross assistance is available to those who meet both of the following criteria: (1) they do not qualify for federal disaster assistance; and (2) they have had major damage or their home has been destroyed. If qualified, a family of four will receive $500 (i.e., $125 per person). This assistance can help families begin their recovery by providing funds which can be used for an apartment deposit, clothes or food, or immediate transportation expenses.
People who may be eligible for Red Cross financial assistance should register online at redcross.org/LAfloodassistance or call 855-224-2490. People who are deaf, hard of hearing or require accessible communications may text 571-422-1144.
The massive Red Cross relief effort in Louisiana could cost at least $35 – 40 million, as volunteers remain on the ground to help in the difficult weeks ahead as residents recover from the devastation.
The Red Cross needs the public to join us in supporting Louisiana by making a financial donation today. People can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters.
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. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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SOURCE American Red Cross