Release: Southeast Louisiana Chapter 10.2.08

October 2, 2008

Update on Red Cross Response to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike

NEW ORLEANS, October 2, 2008 – The American Red Cross continues to provide emergency aid to displaced residents of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

Local businesses have returned to the areas and with no more power outages, residents are able to return home and begin their long term recovery plans. Two shelters remain open in Schriever and Houma with a population of 135 in the last 24 hours. The shelter at LaRose Civic Center will close today at noon.

Red Cross workers have provided over 8,500 meals & snacks to residents within in the past 24 hours, and over 1.6 million meals & snacks to residents to date. The last mobile feeding that residents will be served is dinner tonight but we will continue to serve meals to shelter residents. In addition, we have distributed more than 9,000 comfort kits (containing hygiene products), 5,000 clean-up kits to the most affected areas. We also have provided over 2,000 bulk items in the past 24 hours and more than 76,000 to date to the residents impacted by the storms.

“Thanks to persons in the community willing to help others in need, we were able to respond quickly. We applaud our volunteers for such a swift response,” says Kay Wilkins, CEO of the American Red Cross- Southeast Louisiana Chapter.

To volunteer, donate, or receive current information about these disasters, call 1-800-229-8191. All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people.

For more information on how to Be Red Cross Ready, contact the local Red Cross at (504) 620-3105 or via the website at

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Media Alert: Southeast Louisiana Chapter 9.24.08

September 24, 2008

Ministerial alliance to feed residents at Red Cross shelters in Terrebonne Parish

HOUMA, La., Sept. 24, 2008 – In a display of humanitarian outreach, a ministerial alliance will join the American Red Cross in feeding efforts for those displaced by recent hurricanes in Terrebonne Parish.

WHAT: Pastors of 28 churches that make up the Louisiana 5th District Association will prepare and deliver lunches to Red Cross shelter residents.

WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008 Noon


  • Dumas Auditorium, Tunnel Boulevard, Houma, La.
  • Schriever Gymnasium Auditorium, Kelsi Drive, Schriever, La.

HOW: The ministers will prepare the meals at four churches on Thursday morning: St. Matthews Baptist on Highway 311, Residence Baptist on Isaac Street, Rock of Ages Baptist on Aycock Street, and Pilgrim Baptist on Highway 403.

WHY: Red Cross shelters continue to be home for about 160 people who cannot return home because of the devastation caused by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in Terrebonne Parish.

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Release: Southeast Louisiana Chapter 9.11.08

September 12, 2008

Red Cross: Don’t let your guard down for Ike

Ike’s winds, storm surge may impact southern Louisiana

ST. ROSE, LA., Sept. 11, 2008 – Residents of southern Louisiana need to pay attention to the effects of Hurricane Ike, even as it plows west across the Gulf of Mexico. The American Red Cross reminds residents to be prepared to take care of themselves and their loved ones in case high winds or coastal flooding change conditions suddenly.

“Throughout the hurricane season, we want to be sure everyone pays attention, has a plan and gets the supplies they might need,” said Bill Salmeron, director of emergency services for the Southeast Louisiana chapter of the Red Cross. “Although it looks like the worst of Ike is going to hit farther west, we can expect to feel some of the effects here and we don’t want people to be caught unprepared.”

Red Cross disaster workers are preparing to accommodate new residents at shelters and are adjusting public feeding operations to be sure both clients and workers remain safe while Ike influences conditions here.

“We’re beefing up our capacity at shelters and we’re being sure all the shelters are stocked with extra heater meals and snacks,” said Crae Arnette, director of Red Cross hurricane relief operations for the 13 parishes in southeastern Louisiana. “To be sure our people are safe, we’re pulling our food delivery trucks off the roads after lunch today. As soon as winds and road conditions permit, our field kitchens will resume operations; we expect this will be Saturday morning.”

The National Weather Service predicts storm surge flooding of five to seven feet above normal tidal levels along with rainfall of one to two inches, which may flood low-lying areas and roadways. Meanwhile, high winds may bring down power lines or debris, blocking roadways temporarily.

Residents should monitor local radio stations and other sources of information from law enforcement and emergency management authorities.

The Red Cross reminds people to prepare now:

  • Be sure you know the best way to get from your home, school or workplace to locations outside flood zones. Remember, your normal route may be under water or blocked by fallen debris, so have an alternate route in mind. Do not drive through standing water; treat downed utility lines as if they are live electric wires.
  • Keep your vehicle’s gas tank at least half full.
  • Review your family’s communication plan with each member. Be sure everyone – including youngsters – has a list of contact phone numbers, including one for a point of contact outside the flood zone.
  • Check your disaster supply kit. Do you have bottled water, non-perishable foods, medications and other supplies you may need if you can’t leave home, or if you have to leave home on short notice?

Red Cross disaster workers have been working since before Hurricane Gustav made landfall on Sept. 1 to help the region prepare for and then recover from the storm. Shelters remain open to accommodate evacuees who have not been able to return home and feeding operations continue to serve areas where power has not been restored.

For more information about how individuals and families can prepare for disasters, visit or contact the Southeast Louisiana Red Cross chapter.

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