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Monday 03 September 2012

ShelterBox Response Team assessing need in USA
ShelterBox Response Team assessing need in USA Photograph by NASA - NASA’s Earth Observatory

A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) has been assessing the need for emergency shelter along the Gulf Coast in the United States, where Tropical Storm Isaac flooded the states of Louisiana and Mississippi last week.

Isaac made landfall on Wednesday as a Category 1 hurricane seven years after Hurricane Katrina swept ashore in the same states. Although its maximum sustained winds dropped to 56 kilometres-an-hour as of Thursday, rains continued with more than 50 centimetres falling in some areas and a dangerous storm surge was created.

President Barack Obama signed major disaster declarations for both states and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local efforts in the affected areas.

Around 160,000 homes and businesses in Louisiana remain without power, according to the state's largest power provider Entergy, leaving them without air conditioning in soaring temperatures.

Discuss damage

SRT members Alan Monroe (US), John Lacquey (US) and Trannie Lacquey (US) met with ShelterBox USA Ambassador Ken Thompson and local Rotarians on Sunday in the town of Ocean Springs in Mississippi to discuss the damage.

'We also met with local government, the Fire Department and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and the all groups confirmed that there was no need for ShelterBoxes in Ocean Springs,' said Alan.

'The Fire Chief also connected us with other EOC's in the region including Jackson County and Pearl River Country, where families may also have been affected by the disaster. We will be heading to these areas later to make assessments for damage and suitability of ShelterBox aid. We are also reaching out to groups who have requested aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).'

Reports said the storm surge was unusually bad in LaPlace, about 40 kilometres northwest of New Orleans, where many people were rescued from the rapidly rising water. The team will be assessing the need here as well as in Placquermines Parish and Tamammy Parish.

ShelterBox has also been responding to flooding in Haiti that Isaac caused before striking southern USA.
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