Saturday, September 03, 2005

COM: Red Cross and Salvation Army?

The Red Cross' explanation for the lack of their presence in New Orleans. The Salvation Army has also apparently been denied entry . . .

From the Red Cross FAQ here.

Thanks for the heads up to Thom Woodruff and Mikus Grinbergs

More discussion at Daily Kos . . .

Hurricane Katrina: Why is the Red Cross not in New Orleans?

* Acess to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local
authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply
cannot enter New Orleans against their orders.

* The state Homeland Security Department had requested -- and continues
to request -- that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans
following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating
and encourage others to come into the city.

* The Red Cross has been meeting the needs of thousands of New Orleans
residents in some 90 shelters throughout the state of Louisiana and
elsewhere since before landfall. All told, the Red Cross is today
operating 149 shelters for almost 93,000 residents.

* The Red Cross shares the nation's anguish over the worsening situation
inside the city. We will continue to work under the direction of the
military, state and local authorities and to focus all our efforts on
our lifesaving mission of feeding and sheltering.

* The Red Cross does not conduct search and rescue operations. We are an
organization of civilian volunteers and cannot get relief aid into any
location until the local authorities say it is safe and provide us with
security and access.

* The original plan was to evacuate all the residents of New Orleans to
safe places outside the city. With the hurricane bearing down, the city
government decided to open a shelter of last resort in the Superdome
downtown. We applaud this decision and believe it saved a significant
number of lives.

* As the remaining people are evacuated from New Orleans, the most
appropriate role for the Red Cross is to provide a safe place for people
to stay and to see that their emergency needs are met. We are fully
staffed and equipped to handle these individuals once they are evacuated.

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