American Red Cross teams with LATAN to help Aug. Flood victims

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The American Red Cross, in partnership with LATAN and on behalf of Louisiana's Emergency Management Disability and Aging Coalition (EMDAC), announces the immediate availability of durable medical equipment, medical supplies, home accessibility assessments, and assistive smoke alarms to Louisiana residents with functional limitations or disabilities affected by the August 2016 floods.

Individuals who were living in any of the 26 parishes designated by FEMA Disaster Response #4277 (DR 4277) at the time of the flooding are invited to contact LATAN to inquire about assistive devices and equipment that may be available to them at no cost. LATAN will provide the necessary assessments, fittings, and delivery of devices, and each resident will also receive free installation of a complimentary smoke alarm through the American Red Cross’s Home Fire Campaign. In addition, all participants will have the opportunity to have their homes assessed for accessibility and Universal Design by a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS).

“LATAN is thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with the American Red Cross and provide assistance of needed devices and other services to vulnerable populations affected by the flood. We believe that at about the six-month mark following a natural disaster or an event, oftentimes people feel that they are forgotten. This partnership with American Red Cross clearly illustrates that we have not forgotten them and that help is on the way to meet their needs,” Yakima Black, LATAN President and CEO said.

Additionally, in the upcoming months LATAN and its partner agencies and organizations in the Louisiana EMDAC, will provide emergency preparedness presentations focused on individuals with functional limitations and disabilities to organizations, agencies, caregivers, and individuals, as well as to state emergency managers. LATAN and EMDAC will also spearhead the pre-staging of assistive devices, durable medical equipment, and medical supplies in emergency shelters throughout the flood-impacted region.

These preparedness activities offer yet another opportunity to address issues and resolve concerns of flood survivors, with the long-term goal of making Louisiana residents with functional limitations and disabilities more resilient and better prepared for any disaster that may strike.

Residents who receive this message are urged to call toll-free 844-861-4764 or email response@latan.org.

LATAN (Louisiana Assistive Technology Access Network) is Louisiana’s leader in assistive technology programs and services. LATAN helps individuals of all ages who live with functional limitations or disabilities to gain greater independence at work, home, or school.

Louisiana EMDAC (Emergency Management Disability and Aging Coalition) includes nonprofit, for profit and government agencies in Louisiana that advocate for and support emergency management efforts that serve all people in the state, particularly those with access and functional needs.

Contributed Report