To learn how you can get help in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, you can contact these aid agencies:
American Red Cross
If you are trying to reach missing relatives in the affected areas, the Red Cross has limited information about shelters and services through: 1-866 GET INFO (1-866-438-4636).
The Red Cross is also seeking donations for hurricane relief. You can donate at www.redcross.org.
You can also find information at the site on what to do when you return to your home after a storm.
Federal Emergency Management Agency
President Bush has declared Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama federal disaster areas, opening up FEMA's ability to assist states and localities affected by Hurricane Katrina. For more information go here: FEMA
U.S. Coast Guard
The Coast Guard urges people in distress in the greater New Orleans area to contact the emergency search and rescue phone lines for the state Office of Emergency Preparedness at one of the following numbers:
Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
This state agency Web site has links to the National Hurricane Center and other weather-related links. The site also offers advice on how to cope with an emergency situation.
Create an emergency communication plan with family/friends.
Establish a meeting place with family/friends.
Assemble emergency supplies.
For more information, go here: LHLS & EP
Alabama's Emergency Management Agency
This state agency Web site has links helpful to Alabamans. For more information, go here: AEMA
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency
This state agency Web site has current news and shelter information for Mississippi residents. For more information, go here: MEMA
Other relief organizations:
Policyholders with questions regarding their coverage for damage caused by Hurricane Katrina should contact their insurance agent or company representative. To assist consumers, special toll-free numbers have been set up by insurance companies. This and other hurricane-related information can be found at: Disaster Information
Aid for schools:
The National Education Association (NEA) has established a Web site and toll-free hotline number for schools, teachers and school employees impacted by Hurricane Katrina to apply for grants that total $1 million. Public school employees personally impacted by Hurricane Katrina are eligible to apply for grants to meet various needs, including: housing, food, clothing and other personal needs. NEA will also provide grants to public schools that have enrolled the estimated 300,000 students displaced by the storm. More information can be found at: NEA
Or call their toll-free number: 1-866-247-2239.