Southeast Louisiana Chapter Disaster Teams Head East
Red Cross Workers Respond to Massive Flooding in Georgia and Tennessee
New Orleans, LA, September 25, 2009– Local disaster volunteers are traveling east to Atlanta, GA to assist with the recovery efforts caused by massive flooding in Georgia and Tennessee earlier this week. The American Red Cross has sent more than 200 volunteers and staff and 18 Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) to Georgia and Tennessee with more on standby. Clean up and comfort kits are being distributed and almost 2,000 meals have been served to those affected by the flooding. Officials say early estimates show as many as 3,000 homes may be affected with damages estimated at $250 million.
“The call came today for additional disaster workers who are needed to support relief efforts in Atlanta,” said Kay Wilkins, CEO of the Southeast Louisiana Chapter. “In response, our chapter is sending five local volunteers to support bulk distribution and casework operations.”
Today Cheryl Cadigan, a local volunteer from Slidell, departed for Atlanta. She will be involved with casework operations once she arrives at the disaster response operations. Saturday morning (tomorrow), Thomas Bulter (from Metairie), Christopher Meizen, Lauren Powell, and Brittany (Collins) Feeser will depart from the Southeast Louisiana Chapter Headquarters for Atlanta, where they will be working to support the bulk distribution operations. Christopher, Lauren and Collins are National Preparedness Response Corp (NPRC) members who began their 10-month commitment with the Southeast Louisiana Chapter on Monday, August 3, 2009.
“This is what makes volunteering special with the Red Cross,” explains Kay Wilkins “We’re a large family. When a member is in need, you pack up and help them through their difficulty. Red Cross volunteers in other states have provided us with the same generosity of their time and skills many times before.”
Chapter volunteers are trained to provide a variety of disaster relief services for the people they help. “It is extremely rewarding work and the volunteers always say they get so much more from the people they help than vice versa” continues, Kay Wilkins. “Just as the Red Cross asks local Louisiana residents to be prepared for emergencies, volunteers must be ready prior to a disaster. The Chapter offers training classes for volunteers to be knowledgeable about what is involved in disaster response from the large scale hurricane responses to our number one and daily response to residential fires.”