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Help for the Gulf Coast in Isaac's wake

By Julie Hays, CNN
updated 3:26 PM EDT, Fri August 31, 2012
The Louisiana Army National Guard and Louisiana Air National Guard distributed aid at Skelly-Rupp Stadium in Algiers on Friday.
The Louisiana Army National Guard and Louisiana Air National Guard distributed aid at Skelly-Rupp Stadium in Algiers on Friday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Storm dumped up to 20 inches of rain in some areas
  • Thousands of Gulf Coast residents evacuated their homes
  • Red Cross: The area is still in the throes of an ongoing disaster
  • Relief organizations are on the ground, and there are ways you can help

(CNN) -- The remnants of Hurricane Isaac are moving north but only after drenching some areas of the Gulf Coast with more than 20 inches of rain and displacing thousands of residents.

"People have in their mind that the hurricane is over, but there is still huge flood problem," said Daphne Hart, a Red Cross spokeswoman. "This is an area still in the throws of an ongoing disaster, and people need help."

The Red Cross is operating 60 shelters in six states and is prepared for them to remain open for as long as needed. To assist the Red Cross in its efforts, you can donate by visiting the website, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

The Red Cross is also preparing for a potential blood shortage in areas affected by Isaac, as the storm forced the cancellation of multiple blood drives in the region. Eligible donors in unaffected areas can schedule an appointment to give blood by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting RedCrossBlood.org.

As floodwaters begin to recede, weary residents will return home to start the cleanup process. Local volunteers can donate their time and professional skills to the recovery.

In Louisiana, volunteers are needed to answer phones, sort donations and repair damaged homes. Visit this site for more information on these opportunities.

The Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service is registering individuals for standby volunteer opportunities across the state. Health professionals can also register online for medical volunteer opportunities.

Relief organizations are still working to meet the immediate needs of those displaced and are gearing up for rebuilding efforts.

The Salvation Army has provided thousands of meals to storm victims and first responders across the Gulf Coast. If you would like to help those affected by this disaster, visit the website, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or text the word "STORM" to 80888 to make a $10 donation that will show up on your next phone bill.

Team Rubicon, a disaster relief organization composed of veteran volunteers, is working in Louisiana to clear fallen trees and debris from major roadways. Visit its website to make a donation to the organization's disaster relief fund.

Operation Blessing International is assessing damaged areas in Louisiana and providing hot meals to residents in St. Bernard Parish. The organization will also be organizing volunteers to help provide free labor to residents who need help with roof tarps, debris removal and chainsaw work. To make a donation or volunteer, visit the website or call 757-374-0944 for more information.

AmeriCares is working to meet the medical needs of storm victims by sending chronic care medicines, like inhalers and diabetic supplies, and other relief items to affected areas in Louisiana and Mississippi. AmeriCares relief workers are also providing support to health care providers and aid organizations. To help AmeriCares with its disaster response, visit the website to make a donation or sign up to be a volunteer.

Direct Relief International has provided dozens of clinics from Texas to Florida with hurricane preparedness packs, each containing enough medicine and supplies to treat 100 people for several days. The organization is also working with local partners to provide tetanus vaccines and flu immunizations if needed to those involved in the cleanup efforts. Visit the website to assist in Direct Relief's emergency preparedness and response efforts.

World Vision is partnering with local churches and organizations to provide blankets, food, personal care items and flood cleanup kits to affected areas in Mississippi and Louisiana. Go online to make a donation to the organization's U.S. Disaster Response Fund.

The St. Bernard Project has been working to rebuild homes for senior citizens, people with disabilities and needy families with children in the New Orleans area since 2006. The organization also provides wellness and mental health services to storm victims. Visit the website to make a donation or for information on volunteering.

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