The Lake Charles City Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution supporting LifeShare Blood Centers plans to construct a four-foot high flood wall to help ensure a stable blood supply when the area is recovering from flood-related disasters. The project cost totals $715,000, of which LifeShare is seeking $157,300 in local matching contributions through a fundraising campaign. Other funding sources include the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and a pending state of Louisiana capital outlay request.
LifeShare Blood Centers Board of Trustee Chairman and Lake Charles resident, Walt Sanchez, presented details of the resolution to city executives and explained the barrier wall, flood gates and pumps are triggered by water levels and water pressure, a benefit during evacuations. According to Sanchez, “It is a passive system and that provides two benefits. One, we don’t need power to be able to protect the center. And, two, this won’t require human intervention to activate.”
The flood wall project is designed to protect the facility, equipment, furnishings and supplies allowing LifeShare to reinstate local services as soon as the waters recede. LifeShare Blood Centers’ Lake Charles center was closed for nine months after Hurricane Rita and four months after Hurricane Ike for repairs and equipment replacement. Flood recovery expenditures for those events combined were more than $1.5 million.
The flood wall has been approved and deemed necessary by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to prevent water from entering the Lake Charles blood center, which serves 10 medical facilities in six southwest Louisiana parishes. Each year more than 22,400 blood components are provided by area donors for local patients.
For more information about the project or to make a financial contribution to help build the wall visit www.lifeshare.org, call the Development office at 318.651.4415 or contact the Lake Charles facility at 337.436.4932.
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.