Hurricane Laura Update 09-26-2020

Kevin McCoy

We are now one month on from the arrival of Hurricane Laura which came ashore as a Category 4 Hurricane with wind speeds of 150 MPH. Laura came ashore near Cameron Louisiana and spread damage as far as Orange and Jasper counties in Texas.

It is a great feeling to be able to look into the Atlantic and not see any storms for a few days! We have also been blessed that Sally and T.S. Beta – while creating some havoc on their own, did not further impact the HUR Laura damage area.

Assisted Living
        Facility Evacuees
     These ladies evacuated Laura from an assisted living facility, and have hung together for mutual support!

As of yesterday morning we still have 14,800 evacuees in Hotel Shelters – about 1/3 are children.

  • TX = 4,300, mostly in the Dallas / Fort Worth Area, and
  • LA = 10,500, mostly in the New Orleans Area.

This is down from 15,000 in my last report.

Today there are roughly 770 trained Red Cross disaster responders deployed on Hurricane Laura.

A reminder that we are using this strategy of Hotel sheltering, and minimizing any use of traditional sheltering (congregate shelters) to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

A couple of things have changed this week that should enable residents to return closer to their homes and further move from Response to Recovery.


As of this morning there were 3,800 customers without power, just last week this number stood at 36,000. So infrastructure is improving. [ ]

Federal Response

If you would like to understand how the FEMA works in providing

  • rental assistance,

  • trailers, mobile housing, direct lease

  • and repair

I really recommend spending the 10 minutes to view this briefing from Calcasieu Parish:

Folks that need this assistance must start by registering: at or (800) 621-3362.

State Resources are also available:

TX: , and


Red Cross Resources

Over and above sheltering and Feeding Red Cross is providing a couple of additional programs for recovery resources:

Red Cross Shelter Resident Transition program: This program helps to reduce the roadblocks that may be preventing return of clients from shelters. This program is specific to clients in shelters. Making shelter residents aware of whole community resources that are available, as well as specific assistance for return needs.

Red Cross Individual Assistance: Any Laura impacted family whose home suffered major damage or destroyed is contacted by Red Cross to receive immediate financial assistance, as well as other forms of recovery planning, health resources, and referrals.

Feeding: With the return of power and other resources (restaurants opening, ...) we are in the process of demobilizing our mobile feeding programs and kitchens. Hotel Shelter feeding continues.

Katie Gauthreax
    Katie's expecting, and her birthing plan did not include a Hurricane!  Picking up a meal at a Hotel Shelter.

Red Cross Response snapshot:

  • Provided 501,000 Hotel overnight Stays
  • Served 1.3 Million Meals and Snacks
  • Distributed 169,000 emergency relief items such as clean up kits,...
  • 32,000 Individual Care Contacts
  • Detailed Damage Assessment: 58,500 homes.

Individual care contacts include Health, Mental Health, Spiritual Care, as well as replacing prescription medications, eyeglasses or other medical equipment.


The Red Cross will be in Louisiana and Texas for as long as it takes, working beside Disaster response partners to help people rebuild their lives.

National Snapshot:

This is a difficult time for Red Cross with the collision of wildfire and Hurricane season.  As I logged on to our volunteer connection web site this morning I saw 52 operations that are recruiting trained volunteers. 

National Operations
      Summary 09-26-20

As always, thank you for being our great partner in Disaster Response since 1935!

And thank you for taking a few moments away from the CQ Worldwide RTTY DX Contest to read this update (goodness knows I can't find a free frequency to send that Vara HF check in ; - )

Best Kevin @KF5FUZ

American Red Cross