Red Cross preps for hurricane season

Local

Since we’re now in hurricane season, the Red Cross is getting ready to house people in case of a natural disaster. 

The North Louisiana Red Cross would first set up two host sites to house evacuees. They partner with Southern University of Shreveport and LSU Shreveport to house people inside their gyms in the event of a hurricane. 

Then smaller shelters would be established at local churches. They train year-round for disasters. 

“We make we have our equipment ready so we can go ahead and load it up and take it out where we need to. We get our contracts, our food and catering, cleaning supplies, lined up ahead of time,” said Michele Davison, North Louisiana Red Cross executive director.

The Red Cross works on a 120-hour timeline depending on when and where a storm forms. Shreveport serves as a primary host site because of the Interstates. 

She said efforts have evolved since the days of Hurricane Katrina. Including communication between state and federal agencies.

“One of the ways we’ve seen it evolve that we actually have longer stays with the people who come up,” Davison said. 

Before, evacuees would be housed for two to five days. With Katrina it was 49 days. Now it’s a longer stay for evacuees so parishes can clean up the damage and restore power. 

She said the Red Cross always need volunteers. 

“If we don’t have a hurricane, we’re going to have a tornado, or a flood, or a home fire. We’re going to have something where you can use those skills. So it’s not a wasted skill that you can learn,” Davison said. 

You can start training to be a volunteer now. Davison said they always need people to work overnight hours.

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