Louisiana, United States
Americares emergency response experts are at work distributing and coordinating aid to health care facilities in the Baton Rouge area of Louisiana, where historic flooding has killed at least 13 people and forced tens of thousands from their homes. Emergency aid shipments of relief supplies, medicine, and bottled water continue to arrive as our relief team works with health care facilities severely damaged in the floods to help them restore badly needed services.
Parts of Louisiana received more than two feet of rain in mid-August, causing massive flooding that overwhelmed rivers, closed major highways and engulfed homes and businesses with more than 60,000 homes affected. Emergency crews have rescued more than 20,000 people, and over 120,000 have signed up for disaster assistance. Many health facilities were damages, some so badly that they could not open to provide basic care. The federal government has issued a major disaster declaration for many parishes throughout southern Louisiana.
“Flash flooding and rising waters forced many residents to evacuate quickly without their medications and other necessities, jeopardizing their health and safety,” said Americares Director of Emergency Response Kate Dischino. “Our relief workers will ensure affected families have access to critical medicine and relief supplies at this difficult time.”
Americares dispatched emergency staff from its Connecticut headquarters to work with local safety net centers and other partners in Louisiana to assess health needs in impacted areas and coordinate aid shipments. Shipments of tetanus vaccine, insulin and emergency kits for displaced families, along with first aid kits and bottled water continue to arrive in the state with more relief supplies on the way.
In the coming weeks, Americares will meet emerging and ongoing needs, including continued help for displaced families and support for health care workers assisting affected populations. Americares is working with local partners to ensure health services reach all those who need them, including families still cut off by flood waters and damaged roads as well as those in areas with damaged health facilities. The team is also addressing early recovery needs, especially the safety of recovery workers conducting muck out, removing debris and preventing mold in flooded homes.
In one early program, arrangements are already underway to provide critical resources to re-open a clinic in Robert LA that provides the only source of health care for hundreds of low-income, uninsured and underinsured residents.
“Americares support has given us hope in what seemed a very hopeless situation. It will impact thousands of people each and every time they walk back through our doors—our new doors! I am humbled and so very grateful,” Peggy Gautreau, administrator Total Family Medical
Americares has professional relief workers ready to respond to disasters at a moment’s notice and stocks emergency medicines and supplies in its warehouses in the U.S., Europe and India that can be delivered quickly in times of crisis. The organization has a long history of responding to emergencies in the U.S. including Hurricane Katrina, the Joplin tornado, Hurricane Sandy and the 2013 Oklahoma tornadoes.