The rising Mississippi River and opening of the Morganza Spillway could displace thousands of Louisiana families in the upcoming days. As evacuations are conducted, the American Red Cross will be providing shelters and feeding families who may not have another place to go.
First, I want you to make sure that you and your family are safe. Watch the news, read the paper, and if you are told to evacuate, do it. Check out American Red Cross flood safety recommendations on the web. There are lists in four languages that you can print to help prepare. Pass this link to the Flood Safety page to everyone you know so that they will know what to do.
Once you have attended to your family's readiness, think about how you can help others. With Louisiana volunteers assisting disaster victims across the South and Midwest from recent tornadoes and floods, we need additional volunteers to staff shelters, deliver food and help with nursing and counseling all across the state.
Our citizens always stand up to help after a disaster, but we would like to get you registered and trained in advance. If you are in a position to help, even on a short-term basis, I ask you to go to RedCross.org, enter your zip code and find your local Red Cross chapter. Register to volunteer and receive training today.
I am a Red Cross volunteer. The American Red Cross is made up of volunteers -- ordinary people who do extraordinary things when help can't wait. Join us. No matter what your skills are, you can be a part of the relief effort, if you get your free Red Cross disaster volunteer training. Help us provide the critical relief and emergency services that people facing crisis count on.
Finally, please realize that we rely on voluntary donations so that we can be there when people need us. Every dollar counts. Please join us and help people affected by disasters, including the floods in South Louisiana, and countless other crises at home and around the world with a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief:
On behalf of those we serve each day - like the Louisiana families facing the threat from flooding right now - thank you for all you do to support your American Red Cross.
Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honore` (Ret.)
American Red Cross