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[BATON ROUGE], LA, September 20, 2008 — The American Red Cross continues to be on the scene in the aftermath of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike to provide shelter, meals, and emotional support to families forced from their homes.
Individuals and families who have suffered disaster-caused damage can call 1-866-GET-INFO (438-4636) and FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) for assistance and information updates. Residents are also encouraged to let their friends and family know where they are through the Red Cross Safe and Well website at http://www.redcross.org or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.
Entire neighborhoods have been destroyed, others very heavily damaged. Red Cross
disaster workers are in the community providing assistance to those affected by the storm
through sheltering, feeding, and distribution of needed items. The Red Cross has served
over 1.2 million meals and more than 1 million snacks to individuals and families impacted
by the disaster.
American Red Cross, United Houma Nation share
hurricane relief duties in Louisiana bayou
Raceland, LA -“What a day: Red Cross and lights! It doesn’t get better than that!” Chief Brenda Dardar Robichaux of the United Houma Nation tribes was excited as her crew of 16 volunteers moved relief supplies into the tribe’s community center in Raceland, in the bayou area southwest of New Orleans.
While unloading the last cases of water from an American Red Cross truck, a forklift driver announced that power had been restored to the center, 10 days after Hurricane Gustav smashed through southeast Louisiana. The former general store is serving as the area’s relief center, a distribution point for supplies as well as information.
Tribal citizens were relieved and grateful when the Red Cross delivered water, meals-ready-to-eat (MREs), clean-up supplies and personal hygiene kits as people returned from evacuation. Entergy Louisiana, which provides electricity to the area, has predicted it could be October before power is completely restored there. Water supplies are still unsafe to drink.
“This has come just in time. Tomorrow, these supplies will be going into the community,” Chief Robichaux said. “It’s been hard for me to sleep at night thinking of all the people in need after Gustav. Now I can sleep better.”
The next morning, tribal and Tulane University volunteer teams made the first deliveries to community elders who had returned from Philadelphia, Miss., where they stayed with the Mississippi Choctaw Band of Indians.
One team drove a load of supplies farther south into the bayou area, to the Dulac Community Center, which would serve as a distribution center in that remote, rural area.
It’s a challenge to mount a relief operation in the southern extremities of the bayou region, where storm surges and heavy rains quickly flood low-lying land, roads are few and narrow, and what traffic there is slows to a crawl because without electricity to traffic signals, every intersection is a four-way stop.
The Red Cross cultivates relationships with organizations such as United Houma Nations, which know their populations and their needs. Working together to help people cope with disaster, the partners can respond more quickly and more completely than either could alone.
- Media Contact: Michelle Hebert – (504) 915-9096
- Southeast Louisiana Chapter
CMO Council Rallies Corporate Support for American Red Cross Hurricane Relief
Red Cross Assists Thousands in Wake of Hurricane Ike
WASHINGTON, Tuesday, September 16, 2008 – The American Red Cross today announced a new alliance with the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council that leverages the combined reach, expertise and influence of corporate marketers worldwide to encourage donations to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. The 3,500 CMO Council members manage some $100 billion in annual marketing expenditures worldwide and communicate with millions of potential donors daily through online and offline media channels.
The announcement comes as the Red Cross continues to provide services to thousands affected by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike and days after the launch of a national campaign to raise an initial $100 million to replenish the fund depleted by an active year of disasters. The Disaster Relief Fund supports the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year and enables the Red Cross to provide disaster victims with shelter, food, counseling and other assistance.
The CMO Council will issue a special bulletin to its members, affiliates and partners and disseminate traditional and social media creative and content that companies can use in corporate intranets, newsletters, public service ads, blogs, digital signage systems, email and text messaging campaigns, as well as community outreach.
“The American Red Cross touches people in every market and its humanitarian mission has relevance for all of our members committed to social responsibility programs,” said Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director. He added, “Helping the American Red Cross reach these markets is one way our members can give back and further their customer affinity programs with cause-related communications activities.”
There are many ways CMO Council employees, customers, distribution partners and trade audiences can support the Red Cross. Donations can be made by calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visiting http://www.redcross.org. Another way people can help is through the Text 2HELPTM Initiative, a cooperative partnership between the Red Cross and the Wireless Foundation. Users simply text message the keyword “GIVE” to “2HELP” (24357) and a $5 donation will be made to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Contributions will appear on monthly bills or be debited from a prepaid account balance. All applicable text rates apply.
“We are thrilled to tap into the collective talent, leadership and resources that the CMO Council brings to the table,” said Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross. “This alignment will go a long way toward helping victims of disaster meet their critical needs.”
The Red Cross responded to a record number of tornadoes this year, the worst flooding in the Midwest in 15 years, an early wildfire season and an active hurricane season-disasters that steadily depleted the Disaster Relief Fund. Hurricane Gustav, which made landfall on September 1, is estimated to cost the Red Cross $40-$70 million and the organization has only raised a fraction of what is needed to support affected families. Early cost estimates indicate the Red Cross response to Hurricane Ike may exceed the cost of Hurricane Gustav.
Additional Resources for this release:
Information below represents activity reported as of 8am 09/14/2008
Consolidated relief information for Hurricane Gustav and Hurricane Ike Relief Operations:
- 867 Shelter/Evacuation Centers*
- 264,165 Shelter overnight stays*
- 1,286,227 Meals served
- 1,069,304 Snacks served
- 359 Emergency Response Vehicles deployed
- 50,842 Comfort Kits distributed*
- 13,035 Red Cross workers involved*
* Indicates an adjustment to previously reported number.
American Red Cross Calls for Support from American Public
Saturday, September 6, 2008-During the past week, the American Red Cross deployed about 5600 disaster relief volunteers from all over the country to assist the evacuees affected by Hurricane Gustav. Fifteen of them are from Western North Carolina. Hundreds of these volunteers are being moved to Florida this weekend, as part of an estimated 2500 volunteers who will be needed for shelters, mass care and feeding there in the coming week. Other volunteers from WNC, along with Emergency Relief Vehicles (ERVs), have been deployed to assist with shelters, mass care and feeding of people affected by Hanna here in North Carolina. Many more will be leaving this weekend for Orlando, Florida’s “hot site” (Red Cross Operation Center) to prepare for Ike.
The Red Cross estimates that the massive relief effort by the Red Cross for Hurricane Gustav alone will cost at least $80 million dollars. On top of this huge commitment, the ongoing pounding by the Hurricanes of 2008 is a challenge to the country as a whole to be ready and to financially support the Red Cross in this huge effort.
Two things are needed… financial donations and committed disaster relief volunteers. On Monday, September 1, both of our national political parties sent out a plea to their supporters for financial support. $1 million was raised on that day! This is an ideal bipartisan effort!
Join your friends and colleagues in a commitment to our country and our communities…to donate, go online to www.redcrosswnc.org and click on the “help now” button. To become a trained disaster relief volunteer, call the Asheville-Mountain Area Chapter at 828-258-3888, ext. 218.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation’s blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization – not a government agency – and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit www.redcrosswnc.org and www.redcross.org.