Local American Red Cross sends volunteers to Louisiana

Palma Jorgensen is packing her bags and heading to Louisiana

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The recent flooding in Louisiana has some local organizations springing into action to help.

The American Red Cross already has four volunteers in Baton Rouge from the Panama City area. Organizers say they're helping out in shelters and serving hot meals to flood victims.

Volunteers usually stay for two or three weeks and work 12 hours a day in a disaster area.

Those on the ground say Louisiana residents are strong.

"A couple of them that have been deployed to Sandy in 2012," Bianca Esprit, the Disaster Program Specialist of the local American Red Cross, explained. "They were saying it was similar to that and actually local officials are saying it's the worst natural disaster since Sandy so it's a massive relief operation."

Palma Jorgensen of Miramar Beach is heading to Louisiana Thursday to help the flood victims. She's a registered nurse and has volunteered for the Red Cross for more than three years.

Jorgensen says her clients are the most important, and sometimes she just takes the time to listen.

"Everything else is set aside because everyone's story is different," she said. "Sometimes it takes a while for them to share it and they've had tremendous loss. They're sharing very precious stories and it's just as effective as giving a pill if you can listen or give them a resource to reach out to."

Jorgensen plans to say there for two weeks. She's also helped flooding victims in Texas and Pensacola.

The Central Panhandle and Northwest Florida Chapter of the American Red Cross always have people on call for local emergencies.

"If there's a fire or something that happens here, we're also prepared for our local area," Esprit said. "This disaster's big enough they need all the help they can get right now."

If you would like to support the Red Cross, the organization takes financial donations and you can do it by calling: 1-800-RED CROSS (733-2767). You can also Text LA Floods to 90999 and they'll automatically give you a $10 donation.

For more information, visit the Red Cross Website.