Hurricane Laura Response Update & T.S. Beta
T.S. Beta: It was only 5 days ago I
was giving you an update while HUR Sally was a concern. Here we
are again, with roughly 15,000 people in shelters across Texas
& Louisiana. T.S. Beta is now brewing in the Gulf with
Tropical Storm and Hurricane Watches on the TX coast.
We are in about H-40 in our standard Red Cross
Planning Cycle. (Hours to arrival of Tropical Storm force
winds.) But that timing could change dramatically if the
initial contact moves from Port O Connor to say more directly
We have started a separate Disaster Relief
effort with its own management team (FLOP) line - to facilitate
the movement of people and equipment. We have lots of practice
now with our Hurricane Sheltering and COVID-19 Protocols. Our
partners across Business and Government have adjusted to the New
Normal and are learning fast! Our main concerns are flooding,
storm surge, and wind. Our concern with the uncertain track is
that in addition to new damage, we may see impact on the Laura
recovery area. We are calling folks up and staging Emergency
Response vehicles, evacuation plans, etc.
Please stay weather aware and be ready.
Laura Response and Recovery:
We are now more than three weeks from landfall
of this Hurricane which came ashore as Category 4 with
wind-speeds of 150 mph.
We are still in a position of sheltering roughly 15,000 folks, almost entirely from Louisiana. We are still in this situation because of a combination of the number of Major / Destroyed homes and continued Power and infrastructure issues.
In Texas this burden is being carried by our
North Texas Red Cross Region and the hotels in play are mostly
in the DFW area, while we still have a small footprint in
Austin, and San Antonio is done. Here in Texas we have done our
best working with the state to get all of these evacuees away
from the coast.
This morning in Louisiana 36,000 Customers are still without power. Even when power is restored, we still have > 8,000 homes which are unlivable (Destroyed or Major Damage). So I expect we will be at this for a while - as long as it takes.
The Trained Red Cross Workforce, primarily
volunteers stands at about 900 on HUR Laura.
We have served 991,000 meals and snacks, and
Distributed 168,000 Disaster Emergency supplies
The next stage - Response to Recovery.
At the same time resources are coming online
for a move from response to recovery. Red Cross has a shelter
resident transition team to help, and generous donations have
funded individual financial assistance now available to families
who suffered major damage or destroyed homes.
Federal: FEMA is active across affected counties in Texas and pretty much the entire state of Louisiana. People affected by Hurricane Laura may be eligible for federal Disaster Assistance. They can apply at disasterassistance.gov or by calling 800-621-3362.
State: State governments are
also active with
TX: https://gov.texas.gov/hurricane , and
This is an extremely difficult time for us
with many parallel disaster relief efforts. Let me share again
our National Operations Map - Green balloons are Formal Disaster
Relief Efforts, H's are Hotel Shelters, S is a traditional
shelter, but operating under COVID-19 protocols which call for
increased space, health screening, and cooperation with Local
Public Health. Numbers indicate the level of the Disaster
Relief effort 1 - 7 (Max)
So lots of National Level incidents and ongoing operations: Wildfire, Storms, and Floods...
IT / Disaster Services Technology - American Red Cross.