The first thing you see when you look at the picture on this page is the broad smile of Jerry Rey, carrying food home to his family in southern Louisiana. This scene repeated thousands of times yesterday, as the American Red Cross sheltered close to 34,000 people and fed even more.
Jerry Rey picks up food for himself and his family from a Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle in White Castle, Louisiana.
Photographer: Gene Dailey
Even though Hurricane Gustav has moved from the Gulf Coast, Red Cross relief work is far from done.Close to a million people are returning to homes without power, and need food. Others find their homes unlivable, and need shelter. Red Cross clean-up kits with mops, brooms, gloves and cleaning supplies is getting the physical recovery started. Emotional recovery is being facilitated by health and mental health workers.
Currently, the Red Cross is focused on feeding, sheltering and emotional support.In the coming days the Red Cross will offer emergency financial assistance to people whose homes have significant structural damage. Damage teams will begin these assessments soon.
The Red Cross estimates it will spend between $40-$70 million supporting the people of the Gulf Coast area who have been affected by Hurricane Gustav. Costs could rise if the power outages cause a need for prolonged mass feeding. As always, Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people.
You can help people affected by thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the Hurricanes of 2008, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. We use this fund to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disasters who need our help.
Donors can go online to www.redcross.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS. You can also use your cell phone to donate $5 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by text messaging the keyword "GIVE" to "2HELP" (24357). Donations will appear on monthly bills or be debited from a prepaid account balance. All applicable text rates apply. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster, you should call 1-800-REDCROSS.
All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the Hurricanes of 2008, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.