On Aug. 29, 2021, Hurricane Ida made landfall in southeastern Louisiana, with terrifying results. The storm has decimated critical infrastructure in the state’s hardest hit areas, and residents desperately need access to life-saving resources like food, water, shelter, and medical care. While authorities are still evaluating the damage, it’s clear that people in the area will need help. If you’re worried about the well-being of affected families and communities, here’s how you can help after Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana.
Ida, a Category 4 hurricane, pummeled through Louisiana on Sunday, overwhelming the state with
heavy rain, powerful winds, flash flooding, and a destructive storm surge, per the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Additionally, according to PowerOutage.US, over a million Louisiana homes and businesses lost power, and the entire city of New Orleans was struck with a power outage. The storm’s 150-mph winds uprooted trees, ripped roofs off buildings, while entire neighborhoods were flooded. Even beyond the physical damage, the storm has been an emotional blow: Ida made landfall on the 16th anniversary of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, which caused massive flooding and destruction and killed more than 1,800 people.
While Ida thankfully does not appear as catastrophic as Katrina was, state and city officials are still just beginning to measure the damage and what’s needed. So, from volunteering to help on-the-ground relief efforts to making sure someone has a warm meal, here’s how you can help make a difference.
World Central Kitchen (WCK) has been delivering warm meals to communities dealing with the fallout of both natural and man-made disasters. Additionally, the organization has developed several long-term programs to address and mitigate food insecurity in communities all over the world.
Amid Hurricane Ida, WCK has mobilized multiple teams to provide Louisiana residents with much-needed meals. “
We have 3 kitchens ready with supplies already for 100,000+ meals,” wrote founder José Andrés in an Aug. 29 tweet. “Now we will shelter until Ida passes," he added. If you want to support WCK’s work, you can donate here. All Hands and Hearts is dedicated to “effectively and efficiently [addressing] the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disasters.” The organization directly engages with local community leaders, organizers, and volunteers to make a direct impact, largely through rebuilding vital community infrastructure.
Louisiana has been struck with six hurricanes and tropical storms since 2020, All Hands and Hearts has an established base in the state, and is working with volunteers and community leaders to do chainsaw work, debris removal, roof tarping, mucking and gutting, and mold sanitizing. If you’d like to support their efforts, you can donate here, or sign up to volunteer here.
Led by women-of-color,
Another Gulf Is Possible is a grassroots collaborative effort dedicated to meeting the needs of underserved Black and brown communities along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Their work is especially important, because Black and brown communities are often overlooked in times of crisis — even when these communities are the ones that need the most aid.
According to their site, the organization
will distribute food, water, supplies, and repair services “ directly to indigenous, Black, and brown frontline folks impacted by Hurricane Ida.” They’ll also donate to groups who don’t have access to online donation resources, such as the Atakapa Ishak Tribe and the Pointe-Aux-Chien Indian Tribe. To help support underserved communities of color in Louisiana, you can donate here.
Based in New Orleans, Louisiana,
Imagine Water Works is a community-based organization dedicated to “climate justice, water management, and disaster readiness and response.” To support those efforts, they provide “resources that keep people more safe before, during, and after both natural and manmade disasters.”
In the wake of Hurricane Ida, Imagine Water Works is leading a mutual aid network to direct funds to families and communities in need of food, water, and more. To support their work,
you can donate here.
Managed by the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, NOLA Ready is dedicated to preparing New Orleans for emergency situations — especially natural disasters. They’ve been providing critical information updates throughout Hurricane Ida, such as where to find shelter, medical care, oxygen exchange sites, and more.
In the aftermath of the storm, they’re asking for volunteers to help with possible post-storm evacuation efforts. You can donate your time by
becoming part of the NOLA Ready Volunteer Corps here.