Red Cross works to ensure all evacuees get aid - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Red Cross works to ensure all evacuees get aid

The push is on to keep Hurricane Katrina evacuees from getting scattered all over Memphis. Many relief services are offered to evacuees by the federal government, and emergency management in Memphis is concerned those people are not getting the help they need.

At the EMA's Memphis nerve center, workers coordinate with the Red Cross. The problem: EMA officials can't get a firm number on how many evacuees are in Memphis.

"The churches are not reporting in to us," said EMA Director Claude Talford. "We have no control of that. We're just trying to make sure we do the right thing and everybody's getting the help like they should."

Talford said the churches may not be ready to handle evacuees over a long period of time. He said it would be better if evacuees went to the Red Cross shelters, like the one at Dunn Elementary, to make sure they get all services available.

The Red Cross is also compiling a master list of people in shelters in Tennessee and Mississippi.

"People all over the country are looking for their families," said Red Cross official Dick Wainwright. "The only way they can find them is have a list."

Some churches, like Christians United On the Move, have teamed with the Red Cross to help.

"We went to the Red Cross on central and we helped out there," said Pastor Russell Goodwin. "I brought a team of 6 or 7 people and they really appreciated it."

The Red Cross said some churches in Memphis are keeping in contact and reporting how many evacuees the they are helping is helping.

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