Local Red Cross Leader describes important work in LA flood zone

Local Red Cross Leader describes important work in LA flood zone

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - One of the top Red Cross leaders from Northwest Ohio is in his seventh day in the flood zone. He says the high water isn't giving anyone a break.

Todd James is the Executive Director of the North Central Ohio chapter of the American Red Cross, based in Findlay. His main job is making sure flood victims get information about emergency shelters and where to get food.

He says the people there have been amazing, despite what they're going through. He said it's called the Cajun spirit, where people help others even with the heartbreak.

James and other workers have been visiting shelters that are temporary homes for the thousands of people who have been displaced.

These are people who don't have access to TVs or radios for updates they need. Adding to the problems, many can't charge their phones or get a signal to stay connected. That's why his job is so crucial to their survival and recovery.

"There's a lot of information to get out to the folks and get out in this area about where they can get help," said James. "Like we do back home, the Red Cross here is partnering with so many great partners, local United Ways and governmental agencies and Second Harvest Food Bank, churches, everybody is jumping in on the response and recovery effort. So part of my job and my team is to make sure that we're getting the information out to the folks."

James expects to be in Lafayette, Louisiana throughout the week. When asked what people there are most in need of, he said financial donations.

The American Red Cross, he said, is able to stretch those dollars better than anyone. The money can be used for the residents' short term needs and goes right to the areas that are affected.
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