Tuesday, August 31, 2021

American Red Cross. National Partner UPDATE - Hurricane Ida August 31, 2021

 

Published by American Red Cross National Headquarters

Community Engagement and Partnerships, Disaster Cycle Services

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

 

 

American Red Cross

National Partner Update

 

 

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

 

 

Hurricane Ida

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 flooded.

·        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 effort.
  • Experts point to climate change as being partially responsible for the rapid strengthening that Ida underwent before making landfall.

 

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.

  • Hundreds 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 Baptist Convention.
  • In the coming days, dozens of Red Cross emergency response vehicles will begin bringing food and relief supplies to people across the region. 

 

 

 

Western Wildfires

 

 

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.
  • 83 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 wildfires.

·        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 West.

 

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