The American Red Cross' local chapter is opening an emergency shelter today in Bossier Parish to assist those affected by the rising Red River.

The shelter at Elm Grove Elementary, located at 1541 Old Highway 71, opens at 4PM.

"Our thoughts are with all those impacted by these flood waters," said Northwest Louisiana Red Cross Chapter Executive Director Michelle Davison in a news release. "Red Cross disaster teams are helping and will continue to help."

The Red Cross asks that anyone evacuating to this shelter bring the following essential items for each family member:

Prescriptions and emergency medications
Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements
Identification to show residence is in affected area and important personal documents
Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items
Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys
Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled
Chargers for any electronic devices you bring with you
Books, games and other ways to entertain your family and yourself
Public health regulations do not permit pets in shelters; service animals are permitted

Here are several other tips from the Red Cross:


  • With floodwaters expected to increase in the coming days, the Red Cross encourages our neighbors to prepare. Get a kit, make a plan, be prepared.
  • Stay informed of flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress or other critical information from the National Weather Service.
  • Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off your feet.
  • If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.
  • Watch out for wildlife, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into your home with floodwater.

We urge you to share these Red Cross preparedness tips with every member of your household, because the best protection is to be prepared ahead of time.

The app provides instant access to weather and emergency alerts, life-saving information and ways to contact family and friends in case an event occurs. The app covers 14 types of disasters including flood, tornado and severe thunderstorm and lets users customize more than 35 emergency alerts for themselves and where loved ones live. The app contains preloaded content so users can access guidance from Red Cross experts even without mobile connectivity, such as what to do before, during and after disasters. It also includes a real-time map to help you find the location of Red Cross shelters should you need to leave home. The app is available in app stores by searching for the Red Cross Emergency or by going to

In an emergency, letting your loved ones know you are safe can bring them great peace of mind. The Red Cross can help you stay in touch with loved ones after a disaster. “Family Safe” is a unique feature that allows the app user to notify loved ones who are in an area affected by an emergency or disaster and find out if they are safe. The recipient can instantly see the alert details as well as specific “what to do now” steps, and then respond with either “I’m safe” or “I’m not safe.” This feature works even if the recipient has not downloaded the Emergency App.

The Red Cross will offer new and existing volunteers training in the fundamentals of sheltering this Tuesday (June 2), 9 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Red Cross office in Shreveport, 805 Brook Hollow Drive. We thank individuals and community groups who are willing to support this effort and encourage them to register to become new volunteers to help with future disaster responses. Red Cross volunteers and potential volunteers who would like to attend Tuesday’s training should register by contacting Maureen Gallagher at or (800) 229-8191 ext. 3132. Learn more about Red Cross volunteering and register online at


All Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people.

Help people affected by disasters like floods, tornadoes and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit, or call 1-800-REDCROSS. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter, or to the American Red Cross, 805 Brook Hollow Drive, Shreveport, LA 71105.

Image courtesy of the American Red Cross


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