Missouri is ready to lend a helping hand to residents of Louisiana who are facing a blast from Hurricane Gustav, which is headed for the Gulf Coast.

Governor Matt Blunt has announced seven shelter locations have been set up to accommodate people forced out of their homes in the Bayou State. Missouri has entered into an agreement with Louisiana to shelter thousands of that state’s citizens who would be air evacuated to Missouri, starting Sunday afternoon.

On Friday, Louisiana officials asked if Missouri would accommodate evacuees. Upon receiving that request, the State Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Social Services began working with local emergency management officials, the American Red Cross, and Salvation Army on sheltering operations.

In addition to opening doors in the Show-Me State, Governor Blunt has activated teh Missouri National Guard and is sending a 500 Citizen-Soldier Task Force, a 20-member group from the 7th Civil Support Team, and a 12-member aviation maintenance team to Louisiana to support hurricane preparation operations and to be ready to assist in any recovery operations that might follow.