American Red Cross. National Partner UPDATE - Hurricane Ida August 31, 2021
by American Red Cross National Headquarters
Engagement and Partnerships, Disaster Cycle Services
August 31, 2021
Ednisha Collins,14, holds brother Ethan Jordan, 1, while her
family gets settled at a Red Cross evacuation shelter in Baton Rouge on
Sunday, August 29, 2021. Photo by Scott Dalton/American Red Cross
As the remnants of Hurricane Ida make their way north, the
damage left behind in Louisiana and Mississippi is becoming clearer.
More than 1 million people are without power
where temperatures may hit 90 degrees today; homes and businesses are
destroyed; cell phone, water and sewer services are down in many
areas; roads are damaged or blocked; and many communities remain
·Officials say it could be weeks until
power is fully restored.
Officials have asked evacuees not to return to
their homes until it is safe to do so. In some areas water is chest
high and snakes and alligators have been sighted.
Many communities that are still recovering from the
devastation of hurricanes Laura and Delta just a year ago are now
facing flooded homes yet again along with another lengthy recovery
Experts point to climate change as being partially
responsible for the rapid strengthening that Ida underwent before
For the Red Cross, our work is just beginning. Right now, we
are focused on providing safe shelter, meals and comfort for people in
need. We will be working side-by-side with our partners to help people
recover for weeks and months to come.
Monday night, more than 1,500 people sought
refuge in some 38 Red Cross and community shelters across
Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas.
·Anyone in the affected area that needs a
safe place to stay should call 211, visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED
CROSS (800-733-2767) or download the free Red Cross Emergency app for
shelter locations. You can also text LASHELTER to 898-211 or NOLAREADY to 77295.
of trained Red Cross workers are on the ground now with many more
traveling from all over the country to help.
Mobile kitchens capable of preparing tens of
thousands of meals are being set up with the help of the Southern
In the coming days, dozens of Red Cross
emergency response vehicles will begin bringing food and relief
supplies to people across the region.
Red Cross volunteer Albert Becker prepares to unload
supplies at the Red Cross shelter in Quincy, California. Albert, along with
his wife Virginia, usually deploy together as Public Affairs
representatives but are helping out on this deployment with the distribution
of critical supplies to the communities most affected by the Dixie and
River Fires. "I think this is what Albert always wanted to do with the
Red Cross, drive the Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV)," Virginia said
with a laugh. "I think he likes this better than Public Affairs."
But Albert disagreed, "I just like going out and helping people.
There's a lot of emotion involved in Red Cross work. Sometimes the best way
to help people is to just listen to their stories." Photo by Scott
Dalton/American Red Cross
Wildfires this year have already outpaced what we
experienced in 2020 — some 860,000 more acres of land have burned
than at the same time last year.
Large fire activity continues in 10 states.
fires have burned more than 2.5 million acres.
On Monday, evacuation orders were in effect for
residents near 11 large fires and complexes in California,
Minnesota, Oregon and Washington.
The Dixie Fire in California and the Southern Bench
Fire in Nevada both displayed extreme fire behavior, with winds
causing significant acreage gains.
More than 58,000 Californians are under
evacuation orders as the state’s massive wildfires continue to spread.
·The Caldor Fire is nearing Lake Tahoe,
forcing an additional 11,000 people to evacuate on Monday from the
most populated town on the California side of the lake.
According to scientists, climate change has made
the region warmer and drier over the past 30 years, leading to
more destructive and longer-lasting wildfires.
The American Red Cross has been helping those affected by
the western wildfires since June and will continue to support people across
multiple states who have been forced from their homes.
Monday night, the Red Cross and community partners
had 28 open emergency shelters in California, Idaho, Minnesota
and Nevada in response to wildfires - providing a safe place to stay,
support and services to nearly 900 people.
In addition to immediate relief like health
services, emergency supplies and shelter, the Red Cross is beginning
to provide financial assistance to families affected by the recent
·These funds can help families replace
clothing and food or support any other immediate need.
Over 1,200 Red Cross disaster responders
have supported relief efforts in the wake of wildfires across the