Middle Tennessee volunteers helping relief efforts after Ida hits Gulf Coast

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (WKRN) – American Red Cross Volunteers from Middle Tennessee were in Baton Rouge as Hurricane Ida slammed into the Gulf Coast as a Category four storm.

“Our mission has been great here in Louisiana, we’ve been doing the preparation for Hurricane Ida,” said Regional Executive Director Joel Sullivan on Sunday.

That meant sending in thousands of items — including meals, cots, and blankets — to help get shelters up and running.

“We already have some shelters open,” Sullivan said. “Our damage assessment teams will go out and look at the damage and see where the damage is. Our elected official liaisons will call the elected officials to find out what’s going on in their individual counties or individual parishes and cities. And from that damage assessment, we’ll continue to make our plans of how to serve those in need.”

He said more than 600 Red Cross volunteers were ready to hit the ground running once the storm passed and they’ll be on the ground as long as their help is needed.

“A lot of times missions go on for up to two years until people are back to their normal, whatever their normal is,” said Sullivan. “But initially, I would say this mission will be in the full activity for at least four to six months here in Louisiana.”

Sullivan added that their response would’ve been bigger but a lot of volunteers are in Middle Tennessee helping with flood recovery in Waverly.

You can call 1-800-Red Cross to donate or to inquire about volunteering. You can also text “Red Cross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. So far, the community has helped to raise more than $300,000 for relief efforts in Waverly, TN.

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