Louisiana Rising: A Benefit Concert for Flood Relief to air Monday, September 5

We are thrilled to share some exciting news: this coming Monday, September 5, Raycom Media will host a telethon, Louisiana Rising: A Benefit Concert for Flood Relief live from Baton Rouge’s River Center Theater between 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. (CT). The Red Cross is the sole beneficiary for the telethon, and all proceeds will support our disaster response in Louisiana.

Randy Jackson and Harry Connick, Jr. will co-host the live broadcast, which will air across Raycom Media’s 45 television stations nationwide including WOIO Channel 19 and WTOL Channel 11 here in northern Ohio.

The telethon will feature a dozen artists, including Aaron Neville, five-time Grammy nominee Hunter Hayes, as well as New Orleans-based musicians Better Than Ezra, Sonny Landreth, Chris Thomas King, MacKenzie Bourg, Luther Kent and Rockin’ Dopsie. Raycom Media’s Tupelo-Honey Raycom will produce the show, and Johnny Palazzotto, a Baton Rouge musician, will serve as music director.

The telethon is also available through livestream at redcross.org/SupportLA, where visitors can also make a donation to support our Louisiana flood relief efforts.

We are extremely grateful for the singular generosity shown by Raycom, which will help us greatly in raising funds needed in response to this devastating disaster.

To learn more about the event and the artists associated with the telethon, please visit Louisianarisingfloodrelief.com.

Thank you for supporting the efforts of the Red Cross and those Northeast Ohio volunteers who have deployed to Louisiana.

Mike’s Louisiana Report #1

Greetings…I’ve been in Baton Rouge since last Friday responding to DR063-17–a flooding incident that is the worst natural disaster since Superstorm Sandy in 2012 with more than 60,000 homes and 7,000 businesses destroyed. I am assigned to a new pilot concept in Louisiana called the Red Cross Liaison Network along with other Regional Executives and Executive Directors from around the country to provide dedicated support to specific Parish Government and community leaders. This focused-care approach has enabled the relief operation to better understand and better meet community-specific needs, especially those arising on short or no notice.

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Photo Credit: Mike Parks/American Red Cross

I’ve been assigned to Livingston Parish, one of the hardest hit regions–the devastation of homes and business that I’ve witnessed first hand has been incredible. One of my responsibilities is to check in on our shelter operations–there are currently three Red Cross shelters operating in Livingston Parish. Imagine my surprise when I rolled into one shelter and ran into two volunteers (Jeff and Tom) from Canton, who had just arrived to support the operation. It was a treat to see fellow Northeast Ohio teammates engaged in supporting these folks who have lost so much, and in many cases, everything. It’s a privilege to serve alongside such dedicated Red Cross volunteers.

The Red Cross’ work here is far from done and will require many more volunteers and resources. I’d like to thank all those from Northeast Ohio who have already deployed to help with this disaster. And for those who are considering doing so, be forewarned that it’s hard work, but it’s incredibly meaningful and rewarding when you can be on the ground helping those in such desperate need–doing what the Red Cross has done since its founding 135 years ago–caring for and helping those in need. I appreciate everyone’s support back home in Northeast Ohio. The Red Cross is still facing the need for tremendous resources to respond to this disaster, and everyone’s support is greatly appreciated.

Michael N. Parks

How Can You Help Baton Rouge?

The Red Cross continues to provide hope, shelter and meals to those affected in Louisiana.

If you are asking yourself, “How can I help them?” Well, it’s as easy as sending a text (if you can’t do it yourself, may I recommend finding your nearest 5-year-old as they are shockingly amazing at it.) Simply text LAFLOODS to 90999 and a ten dollar donation to the American Red Cross will appear on your next cellular phone bill. Those with iPhones can also make a $5-$200 donation through iTunes and the App Store.

This donation will help us provide services and relief items to those affected by flooding in Louisiana.

Seven days in to the response, Red Cross shelters have hosted over 42,000 overnight stays. Nearly 2,800 remain in shelters. This is a number not typically seen this many days into an operation.

We have distributed 250,000 meals and snacks in shelters and communities.

Many are starting the work of rebuilding their lives; this is the next phase of a disaster response. Teams of Red Cross workers, including more than a dozen volunteers from Northeast Ohio, are in communities where the waters have receded, surveying the damage done and helping families navigate available financial and well-being assistance. Red Cross trucks from around the country are out providing meals and cleaning supplies to those tackling the job of repairing their homes.

The current estimate for the Red Cross response in Louisiana stands at $30 million.

NEO Red Cross Continues to Support Victims in Louisiana

According to meteorologists, more than 6.9 trillion gallons of rain – enough water to fill 10.4 million Olympic pools – deluged Louisiana this week.

On Wednesday night, more than 4,100 people were still seeking refuge in 30 Red Cross and community shelters in Louisiana. And the flooding danger is not over. More rain is falling in Louisiana and flood waters are moving down-river, which could cause damage in new areas. The Red Cross is closely monitoring the situation to be ready to mount an additional response if necessary.

Red Cross volunteers – including 16 from right here in Northeast Ohio – continue to help thousands of people in Louisiana in what is the worst natural disaster to hit the United States since Superstorm Sandy in 2012. This response is anticipated to cost at least $30 million – and this number may grow as we learn more about the scope and magnitude of the devastation.

The flooding in Louisiana has left many areas without power and phone service, making it difficult for loved ones to connect. Local emergency lines have also been inundated with calls for help. The Red Cross has two ways to help families reconnect:

  • The Red Cross Emergency App features a “Family Safe” feature that allows people to check on loved ones who are in an area affected by an emergency and instantly see if they are okay – even if that loved one hasn’t downloaded the App on their device. The App is free and can be found in the app store for your mobile device by searching for “American Red Cross” or by going to redcross.org/apps.
  • The Red Cross is encouraging people to register on our Safe and Well website, www.redcross.org/safeandwell, to help people reconnect. If you are concerned about a loved one, visit the “Search” page, enter the person’s name and pre-disaster phone number or complete address. If you are outside the disaster area and you hear from loved ones without access to a computer, you can register them through Safe and Well. That way, other loved ones can be reassured as well.

Large disasters like this flooding create more needs than any one organization can meet, and the Red Cross is working closely with the entire response community – federal, state, county and local agencies, other non-profit organizations, churches, area businesses and others – to coordinate relief efforts and deliver help quickly and efficiently, keeping in mind the diverse needs of the community.

The Red Cross urgently needs the public to join us in supporting Louisiana by making a financial donation today. Help people affected by the Louisiana Floods by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters.

 

NEO Volunteers Deploy to Louisiana Flooding

Red Cross disaster workers — including 8 from here in Northeast Ohio — are helping thousands of Louisiana residents with a safe place to stay and food to eat despite closed roads and continued flooding making it challenging to get relief supplies to where they are needed.

Volunteers, Sue and Linda left from the Cleveland office in an emergency response vehicle this morning. A second team left from Youngstown.

The truck (lovingly referred to as an ERV by Red Cross staff) will be used transport cleaning items like mops, buckets and bleach or hot meals prepared by our partners at one of the eight Southern Baptist kitchens out in to the communities affected by the flood.

The current flooding in Louisiana is the worst natural disaster to strike the United States since Superstorm Sandy.

Monday night more than 8,400 people sought refuge in 36 Red Cross and community shelters in Louisiana. More than 1,000 Red Cross disaster volunteers have been mobilized from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to help with the Louisiana relief efforts. The Red Cross is also mobilizing over 60 ERVS — like the two that left Northeast Ohio this morning — with nearly 40,000 ready-to-eat meals, and dozens of trailers filled with shelter and kitchen supplies.

“People in Louisiana urgently need our help now,” said Mike Parks, Regional CEO. “Please consider making a financial donation to the Red Cross today.”

HOW TO HELP People in Louisiana are facing a dire situation. Floodwaters still cover neighborhoods. An estimated 25,000 homes are damaged, affecting at least 75,000 people. Thousands of people have no power when it feels like 99 degrees outside and more than 100 roads are closed. People can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recovery from these disasters.

FINDING LOVED ONES Residents of the affected areas can connect with their loved ones by using the “I’m Safe” button on the Red Cross Emergency App which is free and can be found in the app store for someone’s mobile device by searching for “American Red Cross” or by going to redcross.org/apps.

People can also visit http://www.redcross.org/safeandwell to register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website, a secure and private way that friends and family connect. The site also allows people to update their status on Facebook and Twitter.

JOINT RELIEF EFFORT The Red Cross is working closely with the entire response community to coordinate relief efforts and deliver help quickly and efficiently, keeping in mind the diverse needs of the community. Some of the organizations sending help to the area include Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, the NAACP, Islamic Relief USA, Church of the Brethren Children’s Disaster Services, Save the Children, AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, AFL-CIO, Verizon, Duracell, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Baton Route YMCA and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints volunteers.

BECOME A VOLUNTEER To become a Red Cross volunteer, visit redcross.org/neo and click on VOLUNTEER today to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application.