Emergency response officials are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best as Tropical Storm Isaac picks up strength in the Gulf of Mexico. There is one shelter already open in the Ark-La-Tex with other locations on standby as needed. We have shelter information as well as volunteer information for you.

Accuweather.com meteorologists predict that although Isaac will not be as intense as Katrina was, there is still a considerable risk of flooding, damaging winds, and tornadoes. Also expect downed trees and power outages as Isaac progresses north. Read more about the expected wrath of Isaac from accuweather.com.

For information on how to donate time and resources contact the American Red Cross at (318) 865-9545 or go to www.redcross.org.

From KSLA:

The first and only shelter to open so far is at the Physical Education building at LSU Shreveport, where a Red Cross official says that they've had just a few requests for shelter Monday night. As many as 500 to 700 evacuees could be housed if necessary.

NWLA Red Cross Assistant Director Michelle Davison says the LSUS shelter opened at 4:00 p.m., but that so far there have been just a few requests for anyone to stay there.

Riverview Theater on Clyde Fant in Shreveport is also on standby, prepared to take on 500 evacuees, although that shelter has not been opened. LSUS and Riverview Theater, along with sites on Jewella Avenue (the old Sam's Club) and Atkinson Drive (Westpark in West Shreveport) are all state-run shelters.

According to the city of Shreveport, the old Sam's Club and Westpark can hold 2,400 and 1,500 evacuees, respectively. Both are Critical Transport Needs shelters.

Enough cots have also been set up at the Bossier Civic Center for about 100 evacuees with special medical needs and their care takers.

Under a statewide evacuation and sheltering plan, shelters will be filled first in central Louisiana before any evacuees would be sent further north.

Texarkana, Texas also will provide shelter. The St. Louis Baptist Church at 4000 Frankston Highway opened at 8 p.m. Monday. For more information call Tammy Prater at 903-752-1854.

The Red Cross is still looking for volunteers to help operate the shelters, should they become activated. For more information on how to donate time and resources can contact the American Red Cross at (318) 865-9545 or go to www.redcross.org.