Lake Charles, La., February 10, 2015 — LifeShare Blood Centers’ board members, executives and special guests ceremoniously broke ground Feb. 5 on a flood wall project designed to protect the blood center from rising waters associated with tropical and hurricane storm surges.
“We’ve been working on this since 2008, just after Hurricane Ike,” explained Walter Sanchez, Chairman of LifeShare Blood Centers Board of Trustees and Lake Charles resident. “Now we are finally able to break ground. The construction of the flood wall with automatically triggered flood gates will protect LifeShare’s facility, equipment and furnishings without putting humans in harm’s way.”
The design incorporates a concrete wall with retractable flood gates that are automatically activated once flood waters reach a minimum level. The barrier is intended to prevent flood damage by protecting the building and its contents. LifeShare Blood Centers Lake Charles location was closed for nine months after Hurricane Rita and four months after Hurricane Ike to repair the damages and replace blood collection and storage equipment and supplies.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in conjunction with Calcasieu Parish Police Jury and the State of Louisiana have provided most of the funding for the project. The governmental bodies recognized the value of protecting the community’s blood center and declared the investment one that will help defray the costs of future flood damage. A total of more than $1.5 million was spent to restore the facility after Hurricanes Rita and Ike.
“Protecting the facility means operations can be reinstated as quickly as possible once the flood waters recede,” according to Margaret Wallace, LifeShare President and CEO. “It is important that LifeShare maintain the capacity to operate locally to ensure the safety of the area’s patients and residents.”
Through its Lake Charles location, LifeShare Blood Centers provides over 22,400 blood components annually to 10 medical facilities in six southwest Louisiana parishes. The ability to continue operating after a disaster strikes is a key factor to maintaining the local supply. The flood wall project will help ensure operations are more quickly restored. There is no substitute for human blood; it must be continuously available for patients to achieve the full benefit.
For more information about the project visit www.lifeshare.org, or contact Daphne Young, Development Director, at 318.651.4415 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
LifeShare Blood Centers regularly supplies blood components to 117 medical facilities throughout Louisiana, East Texas and South Arkansas. Founded in Shreveport, La. in 1942, it is a nonprofit community service provider governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees. LifeShare is a member of America’s Blood Centers and the American Rare Donor Program, is licensed by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and accredited by AABB.
# # #