On Aug. 29 Hurricane Ida made landfall on the Gulf Coast as a Category 4 storm, causing power outages and flooding across the South. More than 1 million people in Louisiana, including all of our priority area of New Orleans, are without power. Early estimates are that it could take weeks to restore power.
After Ida’s devastation, many of our partners responded immediately to support the community. Here is what our partners are doing to support families and children in New Orleans.
- New Orleans Business Alliance is encouraging businesses to volunteer for recovery assistance efforts through NOLA Ready.
- Covenant House New Orleans is collecting donations to support their efforts to provide services to the youth who are a part of their off-site programming. Covenant House serves homeless youth and helps them with education, housing and other wraparound support. Covenant House also has temporarily evacuated about 60 of their youth to Houston. About 20 staff members accompanied the youth to Houston and are continuing to provide 24/7 support and care.
- United Way SELA created a disaster webpage with links to resources for residents seeking recovery support. A toll-free call to 211 connects residents to a community resources specialist who can identify critical aid available locally and provide up-to-date information.
- Ochsner Health is offering free urgent care telemedicine visits to residents who have been displaced by Hurricane Ida.
- Greater New Orleans Foundation started Hurricane Ida Disaster Response and Restoration Fund.
- The Foundation for Louisiana (FFL) started an Ida relief fund and anticipates making $500,000 in grants in the immediate weeks ahead. Our partner made its first grant of $10,000 to indigenous and mutual aid groups that serve coastal communities. FFL is a Black-led social justice philanthropic organization focused on building a more just Louisiana. They were founded after Hurricane Katrina with the realization that natural disasters more adversely impact marginalized communities.
Our Voice Nuestra Voz (OVNV) awarded $100,000 is providing emergency relief to communities of color, which have been disproportionately impacted by Hurricane Ida. OVNV awarded grants to several New Orleans organizations to give 200 families $500 in direct support. Communities of color face unequal burdens during a natural disaster and many could not afford the cost of evacuation, such as gas, food and hotel stays.
Ida hit the city on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which flooded about 80% of New Orleans when the levee system that held back waters of Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne broke. The hurricane was responsible for more than 1,800 deaths and $160 billion in damage, becoming the most costly natural disaster in U.S. history.