Hurricanes cause problems for people in coastal areas. But these storms can also cause damage hundreds of miles inland.

“These are dangerous storms that can affect people living here in South Louisiana,” said Kay W. Wilkins, chief executive of the Red Cross in Louisiana. “It’s time to get ready now, before a storm threatens.”

Trained Red Cross disaster workers across the state are ready to respond if needed, though more volunteers are needed. As part of your personal preparedness, please consider signing up as a Red Cross volunteer and training as soon as possible to serve.

Among the most needed positions are workers and managers in operating shelters, assessing damage, distributing supplies and coordinating with government operations. With opportunities available across 32 activities, there’s a position of interest for almost any volunteer.

To sign up, choose Volunteer Opportunities at RedCross.org/Louisiana or contact Jodi Tolliver at or (504) 620-2401. Trainings are scheduled throughout summer with a statewide Disaster Training Institute on July 14 to July 17.

Get Ready Now

It’s the best way to be prepared for these dangerous storms. People should:

Build an emergency kit with a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for an infant if applicable, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information. Many of these items are available through the Red Cross Store at redcrossstore.org.

Create an evacuation plan. Practicing the plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.

Be informed. Learn about the community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and account for their needs and make plans for pets.

People also should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to select up to 35 severe weather and emergency alerts on their mobile device. The content includes expert guidance on what to do before, during and after different emergencies or disasters from home fires to hurricanes. All Red Cross apps can be found in smartphone app stores by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/apps.

If someone already has a disaster kit, now is the time make sure the food and water is still okay to consume and that copies of important documents are up to date. If residents already have an emergency plan for their household, they should talk about it again with family members so everyone knows what to do if an emergency occurs.

Help for businesses, schools, organizations

The Red Cross Ready Rating™ program helps businesses, schools and other organizations prepare for emergencies that can disrupt daily operations. Ready Rating™ offers specific steps that organizations can take to be better prepared. It includes a planning tool to help their employees or members know what their roles are in the early hours of an emergency, what their next steps are, and a resource center with tools that help businesses, employees and students develop and practice preparedness plans. More information about this valuable program can be found at readyrating.org.