DARKE COUNTY — To assist those affected by the recent devastating flooding in Louisiana, two volunteers from Darke County and a staff member from the American Red Cross Northern Miami Valley Ohio chapter were deployed to help the cause.
“We’re sending any staff willing to go,” said Lynne Gump, American Red Cross Northern Miami Valley Ohio chapter executive director.
Over the weekend, parts of southern Louisiana received more than 20 inches of rain and on Sunday President Barack Obama declared a federal emergency in the state.
The staff member that was deployed is assisting with life, security and protection.
“They make sure our shelter locations are safe, the parking lots are safe, that we don’t have theft issues anywhere,” Gump said. “We only usually trigger these are very large events but because this is such a large disaster we’ve had to deploy those volunteers.”
Louisiana state officials have estimated that more than 30,000 Baton Rouge homes and businesses were flooded.
Gump said that as of Sunday evening there were approximately 10,000 people in the shelter but it is possible that the number may have grown since then.
“One of our volunteers that went down with an emergency response vehicle on Monday morning is delivering meals,” Gump said. “So those volunteers will work with one of our kitchens. They load up their vehicles and deliver those meals. The kitchens also support everybody that’s in the shelter.”
Gump added that the response vehicles just don’t deliver meals and drinks, they also do a variety of community outreach to make sure everyone is being taken care of.
The second volunteer that was recently deployed will be doing mass care, which includes feeding and sheltering, or lodging.
Gump said that those deployed have volunteered before to assist with several events and they will be in Louisiana for a minimum of three weeks and they all sleep in staff shelters allowing them to be available to anyone if they need assistance. They generally work 10 days before they get a day off and can work anywhere between 10 and 12 hours a day.
According to its website, the American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and generosity of donors.
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