BATON ROUGE — The American Red Cross spent much of 2012 helping people in Louisiana and across the country whose lives were impacted by disasters. Relief efforts were launched in response to 113 large-scale disasters in 42 states and territories between Jan. 1 and Dec. 1.
Hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and the spring Derecho were some of the emergencies affecting communities across the country. From Alaska to Florida, from the East Coast to the West, few regions were spared.
Here in South Louisiana, the Red Cross launched relief operations after Hurricane Isaac struck the area, as well as other storms, floods and tornadoes. With Isaac alone, 2,000 disaster workers – about half from Louisiana – helped residents by opening 42 shelters, providing 13,000 overnight stays. The volunteers served 475,000 meals and snacks, distributed more than 86,000 relief items and provided more than 11,000 health and mental health contacts. Red Cross long-term relief efforts continue today.
“This disaster affected many people’s lives here in south Louisiana,” said Bruce Cuber, emergency services director. “Red Cross workers from both here at home and across the country worked tirelessly to make sure people had a safe place to stay, food to eat, and help getting their lives back on track.”
Seventy-six South Louisiana volunteers also have served in the northeast, mostly in New York and New Jersey, after Hurricane Sandy struck in late October. Almost all have served at least two weeks, one for two months. Twenty-one are currently deployed, with about half volunteering for a second time.