Iowa Red Cross Volunteers to Provide Flood Relief in Baton Rouge

DES MOINES, Iowa -- More Iowans are headed to help flood-ravaged Louisiana recover.

Four volunteers from the American Red Cross flew out of Des Moines. The group will spend the next two weeks helping people get back on their feet in Baton Rouge. They are joining 11 other Iowans who have been in Louisiana for the past week.

“There's a lot of hardship that you're seeing, but at the same time, it's a duty that I feel responsible to do,” said Jim Mallon of Slater.

Mallon and the rest of the group have multiple deployments under their belts, but this is the first time they’ve worked together. The seasoned disaster responders are prepared for anything.

“We don't know if we'll be in a shelter sleeping or a hotel sleeping, but I have an air mattress in my suitcase just in case,” said Pat Burch of Norwalk.

As a nurse, Burch knows her skills are in demand in at emergency shelters. About 3,000 people are still homeless due to the historic flooding.

“It's a great humanitarian effort. You know, we might be in need some time in Des Moines, Iowa and we would hope the same relief would come to us,” said Burch.

The other volunteers expect to help with sheltering. Some days, that will include mass feeding. Others times, they will head out into the community and distribute supplies.

“Whatever they give you, that’s what you do,” explained Dan Snelson of Pleasant Hill.

He and wife Debbie’s latest deployment just happens to fall on his 63rd birthday.

“Makes you feel good going. Right thing to do being Christian and all,” said Snelson.

“It’s in our hearts,” agreed Debbie Snelson.

In addition to the Iowans on the ground in Louisiana, Red Cross volunteers are also providing virtual assistance to flood victims by phone and online.