Bloomington emergency response vehicle heading to Louisiana to join Hurricane Ida Relief

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WCIA) — A Red Cross emergency response vehicle (ERV) just deployed from the Bloomington chapter Thursday to help Louisiana communities affected by Hurricane Ida.

According to officials, volunteer Valerie Matkaitis left Bloomington to join more than 40 Illinois Region volunteers who already deployed to assist with relief efforts in Louisiana. They are part of about 630 trained Red Cross workers who are on the ground now.

Officials said the emergency response vehicle will help with disaster relief by mobilizing supplies such as ready-to-eat meals, water and snacks, clean-up kits and other items once it arrives in Louisiana.

“Red Cross volunteers are helping evacuees cope as they await news about whether they will have a home to return to,” said Drew Brown, Regional Communications Manager of the American Red Cross of Illinois. “Volunteers are also replacing prescription medications, eyeglasses or critical medical equipment, like canes and wheelchairs, which were left behind in the rush to get to safety.”

Drew said the American Red Cross and their partners plan to utilize all available resources to help people who have been impacted by the devastating storm across Louisiana and Mississippi. At the moment, Red Cross is focused on providing shelter, meals and comfort for people in need.

The American Red Cross is asking the public to help people affected by natural disasters such as Hurricane Ida by making a gift to the Red Cross Disaster Relief. Anyone interested in making a donation can visit their website, call 800-RED-CROSS, or text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

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