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Gulf Coast Residents to Benefit From Gift of Kuwaiti People
Date:7/16/2009

BATON ROUGE, La., July 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross unveiled today the first of four new facilities designed to help the organization boost its disaster response capabilities along the Gulf of Mexico. The new Red Cross buildings, located in Baton Rouge, LA, Tallahassee, FL, Mobile, AL, and the metropolitan New Orleans area were made possible by a $25 million gift from the Kuwaiti people through the Kuwait Red Crescent Society. The new buildings will store supplies and equipment that will speed the delivery of food and shelter to the survivors of future disasters.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090108/RedCrossLOGO)

The new facilities are all designed to withstand hurricane-force winds, and to have sufficient back-up generator power and communications equipment to allow the Red Cross to continue emergency operations should a disaster damage the area's infrastructure. Emergency workers will even be able to sleep and shower on-site if necessary.

"These new facilities will be our hubs for future disaster operations in the Gulf Coast area," said Jerry De Francisco, Red Cross President of Humanitarian Services, who was present for the ribbon cutting with Dr. Hilal Al Sayer of the Kuwait Red Crescent Society. "We are extremely grateful to both the people of Kuwait and Kuwait Red Crescent Society for their generosity. Their support will help advance our response during any future disasters in this part of the country."

Previously, Red Cross facilities in the Gulf area were not built to survive strong hurricane winds, and had limited back-up power systems.

The structures will also be used to help ensure the Gulf Coast communities are prepared for future emergencies and disasters, with space available to
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SOURCE American Red Cross
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