|Red Cross needs help to aid those affected by Isaac|
|Tuesday, September 4, 2012|
The Red Cross has launched a large disaster response effort that could last for weeks, affecting multiple states along the Gulf of Mexico. As the remains of Tropical Storm Isaac continue to creep slowly north, affecting millions of lives with strong winds, heavy rain, flooding and coastal surges, the Red Cross in Tennessee is working to respond.
“A storm of this scope and magnitude requires the Red Cross to send our volunteers to various parts of the country to help in different capacities such as sheltering, feeding and supply distribution,” said Regional CEO Joel Sullivan. “This is what we train and prepare for every day so that when the call to action arrives, our volunteers can hit the ground running to provide help and hope to people whose lives have been uprooted after a disaster.”
The Red Cross has more volunteers, equipment and supplies poised ready to help people in the affected areas after the storm passes.
More than 3,000 trained Red Cross disaster workers from all over the United States have deployed to the Gulf region to help.
We have 311,000 ready-to-eat meals and kitchen support trailers in the area. In addition, the Southern Baptist Convention has mobile kitchens capable of producing thousands of meals a day prepositioned alongside the Red Cross.Across the Gulf Coast, 197 Red Cross emergency response vehicles are ready to move in to serve meals and distribute relief items once it’s safe to do so. How Tennessee is pitching in
Although our region will not see any major effects from Hurricane Isaac, the Tennessee Volunteer Region of the American Red Cross has been hard at work to mobilize volunteers, vehicles and supplies in preparation of the storm. As of today, more than 25 volunteers have deployed to assist with the relief efforts across four states.
The Red Cross has sent nearly 200 volunteers from across the country and 13 from right here in Tennessee, to Memphis to help operate a staging area. American Red Cross partner FedEx has graciously allowed one of their facilities to be used for this function and will support Red Cross staff and volunteers assisting with distribution. The staging area will contain relief supplies such as cleanup and personal hygiene items, cots, blankets, coolers, shovels, rakes, tarps, gloves and masks that will then be transported down to major affected communities all along the Gulf Coast.
This is a very big and ongoing storm, and the full extent of damage or the entire Red Cross response isn’t known as Isaac continues its march. What we do know is that the Red Cross response to Isaac is already large and that it will go on for a long time. Our current best estimate is that Red Cross relief services for Isaac could cost as much as tens of millions of dollars. A year ago, the Red Cross spent $18 million to provide shelter, food, comfort and hope to people affected by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
We haven’t raised anywhere near the millions of dollars we will need for the Isaac response. But the public has always come through for us when Americans need help. After a difficult summer of helping people affected by wildfires, power outages and floods, Red Cross resources are stretched thin. We need your help now.
To donate, go to http://www.redcross.org/charitable-donations. You may also send a text message to REDCROSS to 90999; call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or print a donation form that can be mailed to the Red Cross. There are other ways to donate. Visit www.redcross.org for more information.