The Site Manager reported that the site is serving hundreds of people daily. Water is the most popular commodity. Volunteers typically ask how many people are part of the family and hand out either one crate (24 x 20 oz bottles) or a 3-gallon pack of water per person. The volunteers sometimes hand out cans of water that were donated by a national beer manufacturer.
Water needs were being met with bottled water even though no boil water orders exist currently in the community. Even seven weeks after Katrina, the Red Cross still is distributing an amazing quantity of water – for example, eight pallets of bottled water were distributed between 10am and 3pm today at this distribution point. Red Cross personnel expressed the opinion that residents had little faith in the quality of tap water. In addition, Red Cross personnel stated that bottled water was never in shortage during the aftermath of Katrina (due to generous donations of bottled water).
Other commodities distributed include clean-up kits (buckets, bleach, sponges, mops, etc.), meals ready to eat (MRE), and heater meals. In addition, they have been handing out a lot of soap and waterless hand sanitizer. The latter are very popular and are requested frequently.
Submitted by Pavani Ram and James Jensen
October 18, 2005