Seattle Red Cross volunteer tells her story upon return from Louisiana flooding

SEATTLE–- Clean up efforts continue in Louisiana after massive flooding forces a state of emergency as 30 parishes are declared disaster areas.

And one area woman has her own story of the flooding.

Nancy Thai works and volunteers with Red Cross Northwest Washington. In light of September being National Preparedness Month, she talked to Q13 News about the devastation and how we can all prepare.

Navigating though the flood waters, the damage is clear and so is the need, she said.

“Debris on the side of the roads, watermarks on some homes. It was pretty bad in some areas,” Thai said.

More than 3,500 Red Cross volunteers from every state descended upon Louisiana.  Thai was one of 37 from the Seattle area.  She worked on the disaster assessment team.

“Lay the groundwork for opening cases and helping clients give them the assistance that they need,” said Thai.

Many of the flood victims headed toward one of 13 Red Cross shelters for food and water.

“We could communicate day of and say this area is hit hard we need some clean up kits out here. We might need feeding out here, too,” said Thai.

Along with organizations like the Red Cross, we saw neighbors helping neighbors, she said.  It’s the spirit of “Who Dat” country.

Upon her return, Thai showed off what everyone needs to have to get ready for any emergency.

“We got some basic first aid essentials in case someone gets hurts,” Thai said.

A large yellow flashlight, a yellow battery powered radio and water. Lots of water.

“Packaged water already. This can get you started if you’re in an area where you can’t get water,” said Thai.

A “go bag” that’s ready in case of a natural disaster, house fire, or any other emergency is essential.  Thai says everyone should have an emergency plan ready that the entire family understands.  She says the most dangerous thing anyone can do is think an emergency won’t happen to you.

Photos Courtesy of American Red Cross Northwest Washington