Wednesday, August 29 should have been an anniversary to commemorate the survivors and those who lost their lives exactly seven years ago when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and quickly became one of the five most deadly natural disasters in U.S. history. Ironically, on that day, Hurricane Isaac made landfall, and the survivors who worked so hard to rebuild and bring life back to their cities helplessly watched in fear that it would all be washed away once again.
Although government officials of states that survived Katrina spoke with certainty about their preparedness for Hurricane Isaac, on Tuesday they made sure that more than 5,200 residents evacuated to about 80 shelters run or supported by the Red Cross in six states from Florida to Texas.
Approximately 2,700 trained Red Cross disaster workers from all over the U.S. have been deployed across the Gulf to run shelters, serve meals, and distribute relief items. They also pre-positioned 311,000 ready-to-eat meals, kitchen support trailers, and supplies such as personal hygiene items, cots, blankets, coolers, shovels, tarps, and gloves. There are 187 emergency response vehicles ready to move into affected communities once the weather conditions allow.
“This is a very large response that will go on for a long time, and we need the public’s help,” said Charley Shimanski, Senior Vice President of Disaster Services at the Red Cross. “After a difficult summer of helping people affected by wildfires, power outages and floods, Red Cross resources are stretched thin.”
To donate, people can visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Seeking to avoid the abandonment of many pets that occurred during Katrina, animal rescue groups have been working to get animals out of the path of the storm and to provide a safe place for people to leave their pets if they have to evacuate. The SPCA of Texas took 181 dogs and cats from Louisiana and Mississippi shelters. The Humane Society is regularly providing information about shelters and other locations where people can take their pets. Both groups have been helping people find places to bring their animals until they can return home.
Although there have been structural damage and major flooding, there have been no reported deaths thus far due to Hurricane Isaac.
Featured Image Credit: Red Cross