Local American Red Cross volunteers are on their way to Louisiana to help in the relief effort following severe flooding in the southern part of the state.
They're also making a plea for new volunteers to help them.
Three volunteers are flying down on Monday afternoon and many more are anticipated to join them in the coming days.
The local chapter of the Red Cross said volunteers will spend two weeks at a time in the state for as long as needed. Officials said, as of Sunday, more than 10,000 people were in shelters.
"Last night we had more than 10,000 individuals have overnight stays in Red Cross or Red Cross-supported community shelter in Louisiana,” Stefanie Arcangelo with American Red Cross of Connecticut and Rhode Island said. “And so we just want to make sure that people are being safe out there."
Local officials said volunteers will help out in the shelters that have been set-up for the thousands displaced from their homes.
“It's not one shelter,” Arcangelo said. “Its several shelters across the counties that are being impacted there in Louisiana, so you need a lot of different shelter teams out there to make sure that the shelters are set-up, ready-to-go and that they keep operating until these folks have a place to go."
The Red Cross said it needs new volunteers to aid in the flood relief efforts.
“Right now, our relief efforts are focused on the area of caring for those directly impacted by the flooding in Louisiana,” said Neil McGurk, regional chief disaster officer, American Red Cross Connecticut and Rhode Island region. “We are deploying Red Cross volunteers from the area right now, and may need new volunteers to be trained as well.”
It's accepting volunteers in the areas of feeding, sheltering and supply distribution.
New volunteers need to apply and be accepted in order to be deployed.
“Normally, we only deploy volunteers out of state who have previous volunteer experience with the Red Cross,” McGurk said. “However, this is a large-scale relief operation taking place in the middle of Hurricane season. We need as many volunteers trained in these areas as possible to help in Louisiana and here at home.”
Those who are interested in deploying will also be attending a three hour in-person training once they complete the application process. To sign up visit the Red Cross's website here, call 860-678-2788 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To donate those affected by the flooding in Louisiana, click here.
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