updated September 18, 2020 at 11 P.M.
Hurricane Laura made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on Thursday, August 27, 2020 as one of the strongest hurricanes ever to make landfall in Louisiana. Recovery from an event like this takes time, requiring coordination by government agencies and coutless private organizations, including the American Red Cross.
Almost a month after Hurricane Laura struck, thousands of people remain out of their homes in Louisiana and east Texas and are still depending on the American Red Cross for emergency lodgings, food, water and other assistance. The Red Cross will be in Louisiana and east Texas for as long as it takes, working beside partners to help people rebuild their lives.
Wednesday night, the Red Cross and our partners provided more than 15,000 people with a safe place to stay in emergency lodging, including hotels and shelters. In total, the Red Cross and partners have provided more than 361,800 overnight stays in response to Hurriance Laura in Texas and Louisiana.
Some 900 trained Red Cross disaster workers are still on the ground supporting dozens of service sites where people devastated by Hurricane Laura can get water, food and relief supplies in the affected communities. Licensed professional have supported those in need by providing more than 22,000 individual care contacts, including more than 7,000 in Texas alone, to help people with medical or disability needs, or provide emotional and spiritual support during this challenging time.
Every disaster is different and so are the needs of each affected community and family. The Red Cross is beginning to connect one-on-one with people to support their recovery. This individualized care includes working closely with local partners to create plans and coordinate recovery services to ensure people get the assistance that they need to get back on their feet.
Red Cross is supporting local officials and community response plans, which are focused on providing shelter, food and comfort to those in need. Red Cross emergency response vehicles are circulating through accessible areas in the affected communities to provide ready-to-eat meals, water and snacks. With the help of partners, the Red Cross has already served more than 991,000 meals and snacks and distributed more than 168,000 relief items and cleaning supplies, including more than 49,000 meals and snacks and more than 25,820 emergency supplies in Texas alone.
Responding to disasters is a team effort and no single organization can do it alone — particularly in this current COVID-19 environment. The Red Cross is coordinating closely with multiple community partners and emergency official to provide aid. The Mass Care Task Force — a Dallas partnership between the American Red Cross, North Texas Food Bank, The Salvation Army of North Texas, and VolunteerNow — is currently activated and working together to meet evacuee needs. Learn more at MassCareTaskForce.org.
HOW TO GET HELP:
Hurricane Laura evacuees currently in Texas in need of shelter should visit the State of Texas Virtual Evacuee Shelter Reception Center at gov.texas.gov/hurricane or call 1-888-991-5229 for additional information and resources. This resource is available for evacuees from Louisiana or Texas.
The Mesquite (15515 East IH-20) and Ennis (850 N. IH-45) Reception Centers have closed. Those in need of assistance should visit the Virtual Evacuee Shelter Reception Center.
AUNT BERTHA: Whether you are in Texas, Louisiana or evacuated to another part of the country, you can also find more resources at https://redcrossdisasterresources.auntbertha.com.
MENTAL HEALTH AND SPIRITUAL CARE: Disaster mental health and spiritual care support is available by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767).
The Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
HOME OR BUSINESS DAMAGED: If your home or business was damaged as a result of Hurricane Laura, please go to this link to submit a damage survey, https://arcg.is/uOrOb. This does NOT replace the reports you need to make with your insurance agency or FEMA. Remember to contact your insurance company as soon as possible.
The purpose of this survey: Your county government needs to know, immediately, how much damage has occured in order to apply for additional funding for recovery. The survey will give you the opportunity to request assistance from volunteer organizations at your property.
SAFE AND WELL: Mark Yourself SAFE or Find a Loved One. The free American Red Cross ‘Emergency’ app includes an ‘I’m Safe” feature that helps people check on loved ones. Search ‘American Red Cross’ in app stores or go to redcross.org/apps. You can also access the site online at redcross.org/safeandwell.
Texas Hurricane Center: https://gov.texas.gov/hurricane:
2-1-1: Eleven Texas United Ways partner with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to offer 2-1-1. Visit http://www.211Texas.org or call 2-1-1.
Louisiana Evacuee additional resources: https://hurricanelaura.la.gov/
Thousands of Louisianans are being sheltered in both Louisiana and Texas. If you are in Louisiana and need shelter, text LASHELTER to 898-211 for information about where to go or call 211.
FEMA ASSISTANCE: People affected by Hurricane Laura may be eligible for Federal Disaster Assistance. Apply at disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362.
2-1-1: Run by the Louisiana Association of United Ways. Visit http://www.Louisiana211.org or call 2-1-1.
Diaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP)
Learn more at www.dcfs.louisiana.gov/page/360#registration.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Blue Roof Program: Emergency temporary roof repair. Visit www.usace.army.mil/blueroof or call 888-766-3258.
HOW TO HELP OTHERS:
VOLUNTEER: We have a constant need for volunteers to respond to disasters big and small. If you have the time, you can make a significant impact as a Red Cross volunteer. Review our most urgently needed volunteer positions at redcross.org/volunteertoday and complete the online volunteer application. Additional volunteer opportunities are available at VOLY.org.
DONATE: The Red Cross will be providing support to those affected by Hurricane Laura for weeks to come. You can make a difference by providing a financial gift to help the Red Cross meet the needs of those impacted by disasters. To donate visit redcross.org/donate, call 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) or text ‘LAURA’ to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Material donations are not needed at this time. While well intentioned, donations of clothing and household items divert resources away from our mission — whearas financial donoations can be used right away to help those affected, such as replacing lost items like prescription medications or reading glasses.
GIVE BLOOD: We encourage eligible blood donors in parts of the country unaffected by the storm to give blood to help ensure a sufficient blood supply. Schedule your appointment at redcrossblood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or download the Red Cross ‘Blood Donor’ app.
Prior to landfall, the Red Cross pre-positioned additional blood products to ensure hospitals were stocked to weather this dangerous storm and its impact. Through our national invetnory system, the Red Cross has the ability to move blood around the country to whereever and whenever it is needed most.
- Albertsons: Customers can donate in all Albertsons, Randalls, and Tom Thumb grocery stores in Texas and Louisiana through September 12, 2020. Donations will support Red Cross Hurricane Laura relief efforts. To join, make your contribution in the checkout lane at participating locations.
- Gehan Homes: Throughout the month of September, Gehan Homes is donating $250 to the American Red Cross for every home sold with the goal of raising $50,000 toward Red Cross Disaster Relief needs.
THANK YOU to our generous donors who make it possible for the Red Cross to fulfill our mission of providing aid to those in need!