On Monday, Louisiana was battered by Hurricane Ida, the category four hurricane that lashed Port Fourchon with 150 mph winds. The full extent of the damage across the Southeastern U.S. won’t be known for days, but Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards called the hurricane “one of the strongest storms to make landfall in Louisiana in modern times,” and in a grim bit of symmetry, it’s landing exactly 15 years after Hurricane Katrina’s historic disaster. Now. at least a million are without power, and aid groups are preparing for a huge effort to rescue people in need and provide for them.
Remember, while many people’s first impulse is to donate items like food, clothing and bedding, most charity organizations say such gifts create a logistical nightmare for groups on the ground trying to sort who needs what, and time is of the essence. Many aid organizations say donating money goes a lot further than donating items, since that allows groups to spend at their discretion.
Of course, that means you want to be sure you’re sending your money to trusted, responsible organizations with a history of expertise in relief work. Here are a few such groups hard at work in Louisiana.
The American Red Cross
The American Red Cross is one of the nation’s oldest and most trusted charity organizations, and they’re accepting donations for food, shelter, relief supplies, emotional support and other needs. You can donate to Ida victims at redcross.org and peruse their site for volunteer opportunities.
Catholic Charities of Acadiana has a list of financial and volunteer needs on their site. You can donate money here or, if you’d rather, text RELIEF to 797979. You can find more details, including an Amazon wishlist, here.
The Salvation Army has a refrigerated truck and is setting up stations for showers and laundry in Louisiana. They’re running multiple Field Kitchens, which can provide between 15,000 and 20,000 meals a day. You can donate to their work here.
Feed the Second Line
Feed the Second Line is a Louisiana-based hunger relief organization that will be funneling all of its donations over the next two months to Ida relief. Read more about their work here.
We’ll be updating this page in the coming days as the full extent of the need becomes clear.