Saturday, September 24, 2005

Leaky shelter

2:40 p.m., 9/24/05

Hirsch Coliseum evacuees were out of the wind, but not the weather Saturday afternoon. Times reporter Francis McCabe said leaks in the roof were forcing people to scoot their cots, bedding and their few belongings around to dodge the drops of water. Power had gone out earlier but had since been restored by 2 p.m.
At a 10 p.m. press conference, Reid Brau of the local Red Cross said only a few spots at CenturyTel Arena were left among the eight shelters now in operation. He made an appeal for towels and wash cloths, blankets and cots. Even sleeping bags, foam pads and air mattresses.
Though about 1,400 were currently in authorized shelters, the local Red Cross has processed 2,400 evacuees over past weeks, thereby depleting supplies. Foam cups, paper towels and plates were also being sought at other shelters. Snacks and Gatorade were also being sought. As always, cash donations are especially valued by the Salvation Army, Red Cross and other relief agencies since money gives them the flexibility to meet needs as they arise.
Donations can be taken to shelters or today only at the American Red Cross office at 422 Linwood.
Liz Swaine of the city of Shreveport assured local residents that if high waters forced locals to evacuate there were plans in place to open up additional shelters for home folks.

Shelter survival tips
Terry Davis, an advocate of health care literacy at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, sent an E-mail from Providence, R.I., that one of her colleagues at Emory University, Dr. Ruth Parker and health care providers working in shelters around the country, have developed a one sheet handout, "Health Tips for People Living in Shelters." Information also came from the Centers for Disease Control. It is written at a very basic level in either English or Spanish. It was illustrated by Lewis Kalmbach, an artist and advertising man, formerly of Shreveport.
The American College of Physicians Foundation is distributing it but it can be seen at
Tips include frequent hand washing, covering your mouth when you cough and keeping medicine in the bottles they came in. People who are in a shelter more than a month are encourage to ask to be tested for TB.

Craig Durrett, editorial page editor


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