Hurricane Laura Response Update & T.S. Beta

Kevin McCoy

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 towards Galveston.

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.

Nurses Station
        Hotel Shelter
    Red Cross has provided 22,000 individual appointments for care (Health, Mental Health, Spiritual Care)

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.

Hotel Sheltering
        and Feeding
     Hotel Sheltering and Feeding is the COVID-19 safe way

We have served 991,000 meals and snacks, and

Distributed 168,000 Disaster Emergency supplies

      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 or by calling 800-621-3362.

State: State governments are also active with

TX: , and


National Snapshot

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)

National Operations

So lots of National Level incidents and ongoing operations: Wildfire, Storms, and Floods...


Kevin @KF5FUZ

IT / Disaster Services Technology - American Red Cross.