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Thursday 06 September 2012

Families in USA clean up after Hurricane Isaac
Families in USA clean up after Hurricane Isaac Hurricane Isaac caused flooding along the Gulf Coast causing many families to clear out soggy possessions from their homes, like Larry and Melissa Trumpetore's house here, USA, September 2012.

Families along the USA's Gulf Coast are hard at work clearing their waterlogged homes of debris to fight the pending mould following the flooding caused by Hurricane Isaac last week. Although there is hardship in the task, many families are working hand in hand to get the job done.

As the ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) concluded its assessment of the Gulf Region, SRT members met with Patty Walder on the ground in Louisiana's Slidell.

Patty has been helping her daughter and son-in-law clean up their house. Larry and Melissa Trumpetore were rescued from their home due to high floodwaters. They have three daughters aged 15, 16 and 17 years.


Flooding left behind by Isaac in many towns in the states of Louisiana and Mississippi, September 2012.

'They were affected by both Hurricane Isaac and Hurricane Katrina,' said Patty. 'This time there was about four feet (1.22 metres) of water in the home. The cabinets, furniture, sheet rock and carpets are totally destroyed.'

Repair

The entire family worked shoulder by shoulder to clear out and repair the home. Among the soggy carpet, soaked dry wall, furniture and other items cast to the side of the road, were stuffed bears and toys.

'The girls were picking up the debris and taking it out to the road with smiles on their faces,' said Patty. 'Thankfully Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing the family with rental assistance.'

SRT member Trannie Lacquey (US) said they observed scenes like this all across the Gulf Coast. Subsequently on Tuesday evening, the Response Team decided there was no need for ShelterBox aid, as the local capacity to provide emergency shelter was more than met in this disaster.


ShelterBox worked with local Rotary clubs to assist families in need after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This time around they assisted the Response Team with assessments, September 2012.

'It is so heartwarming to see so many families working side by side to help each other out,' said Trannie. 'We saw faith based groups helping to clear out homes and provide meals to those who needed them and governmental assistance for those without other options.'

Collaboration

During the several day assessment, the team met with Emergency Operations Center managers throughout the region, including Jackson County, Pearl River County, St. Tammany Parish and Plaquemines Parish; with officials from the area in the Department of Homeland Security Emergency Preparedness division; and leaders from various non governmental organisations including the Red Cross and All Hands.

'The information we got from working in collaboration with these contacts, as well as from visiting sites, enabled us to come to the conclusion that there is no need for emergency shelter here,' said SRT member Alan Monroe (US). 'We are happy that the families affected are all being taken care of by each other and the surrounding communities.'
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