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Families along the USA's Gulf Coast are hard at work clearing their waterlogged homes of debris to fight the pending mould following the flooding caused by Hurricane Isaac last week. Although there is hardship in the task, many families are working hand in hand to get the job done. 

As the ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) concluded its assessment of the Gulf region, SRT members met with Patty Walder on the ground in Louisiana's Slidell. 

Patty has been helping her daughter and son-in-law clean up their house. Larry and Melissa Trumpetore were rescued from their home due to high floodwaters. They have three daughters aged 15, 16 and 17 years. 

"They were affected by both Hurricane Isaac and Hurricane Katrina," said Patty. "This time, there was about four feet (1.22 metres) of water in the home. The cabinets, furniture, sheet rock and carpets are totally destroyed."  

The entire family worked shoulder by shoulder to clear out and repair the home. Among the soggy carpet, soaked dry wall, furniture and other items cast to the side of the road, were stuffed bears and toys.

"The girls were picking up the debris and taking it out to the road with smiles on their faces," said Patty. "Thankfully Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing the family with rental assistance."  

SRT member Trannie Lacquey (US) said they observed scenes like this all across the Gulf Coast. Subsequently on Tuesday evening, the response team decided there was no need for ShelterBox aid, as the local capacity to provide emergency shelter was more than met in this disaster.

"It is so heartwarming to see so many families working side by side to help each other out," said Trannie. "We saw faith-based groups helping to clear out homes and provide meals to those who needed them and governmental assistance for those without other options."  

During the several day assessment, the team met with Emergency Operations Center managers throughout the region, including Jackson County, Pearl River County, St. Tammany Parish and Plaquemines Parish; with officials from the area in the Department of Homeland Security Emergency Preparedness division; and leaders from various non governmental organizations including the Red Cross and All Hands. 

"The information we got from working in collaboration with these contacts, as well as from visiting sites, enabled us to come to the conclusion that there is no need for emergency shelter here," said SRT member Alan Monroe (US). "We are happy that the families affected are all being taken care of by each other and the surrounding communities."  

The team has returned home and deployment is complete.


A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) has been assessing the need for emergency shelter along the Gulf Coast in the United States, where Tropical Storm Isaac flooded the states of Louisiana and Mississippi last week. 

Isaac made landfall on Wednesday as a Category 1 hurricane seven years after Hurricane Katrina swept ashore in the same states. Although its maximum sustained winds dropped to 56 kilometers-an-hour as of Thursday, rains continued with more than 20 inches falling in some areas and a dangerous storm surge was created. 

President Barack Obama signed major disaster declarations for both states and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local efforts in the affected areas. 

Around 160,000 homes and businesses in Louisiana remain without power, according to the state's largest power provider Entergy, leaving them without air conditioning in soaring temperatures. 

SRT members Alan Monroe (US), John Lacquey (US) and Trannie Lacquey (US) met with ShelterBox USA Ambassador Ken Thompson and local Rotarians on Sunday in the town of Ocean Springs in Mississippi to discuss the damage.

"We also met with local government, the Fire Department and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and the all groups confirmed that there was no need for ShelterBoxes in Ocean Springs," said Alan.

"The Fire Chief also connected us with other EOC's in the region including Jackson County and Pearl River Country, where families may also have been affected by the disaster. We will be heading to these areas later to make assessments for damage and suitability of ShelterBox aid. We are also reaching out to groups who have requested aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)."  

Reports said the storm surge was unusually bad in LaPlace, about 40 kilometers northwest of New Orleans, where many people were rescued from the rapidly rising water. The team will be assessing the need here as well as in Placquermines Parish and Tamammy Parish. 

ShelterBox has also been responding to flooding in Haiti that Isaac caused before striking southern USA. back