Governor Donald L. Carcieri, interim Adjutant General, Brig. General John Enright, Robert J. Warren, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA), and Nick Logothets from The American Red Cross Rhode Island Chapter today announced that Rhode Island has offered to accept 500 people displaced from their homes in the hurricane ravaged Gulf coast.
They are expected to fly from Houston either today or tomorrow and they will arrive by airplane at Quonset. They will be sheltered at a military housing facility on federal property in Middletown. They are expected to stay in Rhode Island indefinitely.
“Hurricane Katrina is one of the most horrific natural disasters to befall America,” Governor Carcieri said. “As Americans, we have an obligation to help other Americans in need. We were very happy to do our part by offering to provide housing and support. These individuals and families will be our guests, and we will do everything possible to make them feel welcome in our state.”
On Friday, Rhode Island offered to house up to 500 people displaced by Hurricane Katrina. On Sunday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) accepted Rhode Island’s offer. Rhode Island officials expect to be informed today when the families will be scheduled to arrive.
They will arrive at Quonset State Airport, where they will undergo an initial medical evaluation and identification before being transported by RIPTA bus to a housing complex in Middletown. Immediate medical needs will be addressed by the Rhode Island Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) and the Rhode Island Medical Reserve Corps, in conjunction with the Rhode Island Department of Health.
During the evaluation period, they will be provided with food and beverages. They will also have access to clergy and behavioral health professionals. Translators will be available to assist individuals who speak primarily Spanish or French Creole. Ambulances will be onsite in case anyone requiring transportation to medical facilities.
The housing complex in Middletown, which is located on federal property but owned by GMH Military Housing, consists of partially furnished 2 to 4 bedroom units that include kitchen facilities and appliances. It is designed to house military families. The state will work with its partners to help our new guests to settle into these accommodations for the duration of their stay in Rhode Island.
The American Red Cross of Rhode Island will be initially responsible for providing food, clothes and other necessities to the evacuees. RIEMA is working with various federal, state, and local agencies to plan the next steps of the their stay in Rhode Island.
Many Rhode Islanders will want to offer assistance to our guests from the Gulf states. To donate clothing and furniture, please contact the Salvation Army at 401-421-5270. The Rhode Island Chapter of the American Red Cross is accepting cash donations and volunteers. To donate or volunteer, please contact the Red Cross at 401-831-7700 (Providence and Northern Rhode Island), 401-846-8100 (Newport, Bristol and Middletown), or log onto the Red Cross website at www.riredcross.org.
The Rhode Island Department of Health is asking all health care providers and pharmacies to provide services to anyone that presents themselves with documentation. Providers should keep track of all services provided in order to be reimbursed. The state and federal governments are developing a process for reimbursement.