ABILENE (AMERICAN RED CROSS) — As Louisiana residents prepare for the landfall of Hurricane Ida on Sunday, August 29, the American Red Cross is continuing its own preparations.
The Red Cross, in partnership with government and community partners, has mobilized hundreds of trained disaster workers and relief supplies to shelter and support thousands of people in evacuation shelters from Texas to Florida.
Hurricane Ida is still strengthening and made landfall as a dangerous Category 4 storm along the Gulf Coast on Sunday morning, bringing life-threatening storm surges, dangerous winds and more than a foot of rain to a region still recovering from last year’s devastating hurricanes.
Some 500 trained Red Cross volunteers, including some from the North Texas area, have been mobilized to help open shelters and support people who need a safe place to say as Ida approaches.
In addition, the Red Cross has truckloads of additional cots, blankets and comfort kits, along with some 68,000 ready-to-eat meals arriving in Louisiana and Mississippi today.
Those looking for an evacuation shelter are encouraged to call 2-1-1 or text ‘LAShelter’ to 898-211.
Hundreds of additional volunteers are being mobilized to support relief efforts after landfall. Volunteers will help to provide meals and snack, comfort kits with hygiene items like toothbrushes and soap, and assist with sheltering and health and mental health services.
“We are fortunate to have hundreds of dedicated volunteers who quickly mobilize to support people affected by disasters, but we know we will likely need additional support as hurricane season continues,” said Katrina Farmer, regional disaster officer, American Red Cross North Texas Region. “Trained volunteers are critical to disaster relief and the Red Cross needs additional local volunteer willing and able to support local and/or national disaster response efforts.”
SHELTER VOLUNTEERS AND HEALTH PROFESSIONALS NEEDED
The Red Cross needs additional volunteers to support disaster shelters. Volunteers will help with reception, registration, food distribution, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks inside disaster shelters.
The Red Cross also needs volunteers who can work in disaster shelters to address people’s health needs and provide hands-on care in alignment with their professional licensure (registered nurse and licensed practical nurse/licensed vocational nurse).
Daily observation and health screening for COVID-19-like illness among shelter residents may also be required
We have both associate and supervisory level opportunities available. If you are an RN, LPN, LVN, APRN, NP, EMT, paramedic, MD/DO or PA with a current and unencumbered license, this position could be right for you.
After most disasters this year, the Red Cross plans to open group shelters. However, in some communities, hotels may be more appropriate if the risk of COVID-19, including the delta variant, is particularly high.
The Red Cross will also continue many of the safety precautions implemented in 2020, including masks, health screenings, enhanced cleaning procedures and encouraging social distancing.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
If you are interested in helping our community should a disaster occur, please go here, or email our area offices at email@example.com.
Be sure to review the CDC guidance for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, consult your health care provider and follow local guidance. Our number one priority is the health and safety of our employees, volunteers and the people we serve.
You can also help people affected by disasters like storms and countless other crises by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Financial donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.
Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.