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Stamford, Conn. – Sept. 13, 2012 – AmeriCares is sending additional aid to Louisiana this week for residents still recovering from Hurricane Isaac. Cleaning supplies, first aid kits, wheelchairs, dehumidifiers to help prevent mold in water-damaged homes and medicines for a New Orleans mobile clinic are on the way. AmeriCares Emergency Response Manager Kate Dischino, who is leading AmeriCares relief efforts in Mississippi and Louisiana, said the organization is helping displaced Gulf Coast residents clean up storm damage so they can return home.
“The big concern right now is preventing mold that can trigger asthma and other respiratory problems,” Dischino said. “The quicker residents can clean up the damage, the faster they can return home and get back to their normal lives. Some of them were also affected by hurricanes Katrina, Gustav and Ike, and it’s physically and emotionally draining to have to repair their homes again only a few years later.”
The dehumidifiers, donated by De’Longhi, will be distributed to elderly and disabled Louisiana residents cleaning up damaged homes. The first aid kits, donated by longtime AmeriCares partner Johnson & Johnson, will be distributed by The Salvation Army in New Orleans.
AmeriCares previously delivered Family Emergency Kits – tote bags stocked with soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and other personal care items – to The Salvation Army in Gulfport, Mississippi, and New Orleans for families displaced by the storm. The charity also awarded an emergency grant to a Louisiana nonprofit organization assisting elderly and disabled residents affected by the storm, and sent medical aid to a shelter in Alexandria, Louisiana, for evacuees with chronic health problems. Dischino visited the shelter the day after throngs of residents were bused there to escape the dangerous floodwaters. She said it was a relief to have medicines on hand for evacuees with diabetes and asthma.
“Some of the residents did not evacuate in time and they were rescued from waist-deep floodwaters,” said Dischino. “They arrived at the shelter with only their soaking wet clothes on their backs. There was no time to pack medicines or anything else.”
AmeriCares has a long history responding to emergencies along the Gulf Coast, meeting the health needs of survivors after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hurricane Ike in 2008 and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. AmeriCares has provided medical relief and humanitarian assistance to millions affected by natural and man-made disasters for 30 years, including earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, Pakistan and Japan, and the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia. So far in 2012, AmeriCares has responded to tornadoes in Kentucky and Indiana, wildfires in Colorado, storms and power outages in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest and flooding in Minnesota.
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