Hurricane Laura made landfall at around 1 a.m. Thursday in southwestern Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane. With 150 mph winds, the storm left devastation in its wake, affecting parts of Louisiana and Texas.
President and CEO of United Way of Southwest Louisiana says that their team is “actively monitoring every service out there whether it’s a governmental agency or our fellow non-profits to make sure that information is updated in real time around the clock.” Their plan is “going into homes, mucking them out, removing sheetrock, treating them and then hopefully getting those homes rebuilt.”
They will work closely with the Cajun Navy Relief, who will provide boats and help search and rescue teams to use chainsaws to cut and remove downed trees, reports WWL.
Michael Williamson, President and CEO of United Way of Southeast Louisiana says “right now, if someone is sitting there saying ‘I want to help’ the best thing to do is make a financial contribution… that makes it easier for the United Way to support non-profit organizations, to buy needed supplies for the organization they are assisting.”
The Red Cross
The Red Cross has already mobilized more than 800 trained disaster workers to support relief efforts and is working with government officials and community partners in Texas and Louisiana.
The organization has also asked that eligible blood donors in parts of the country unaffected by the storm give blood or platelets to help ensure a sufficient blood supply. Prior to the storm, the Red Cross pre-positioned additional blood products to ensure hospitals are stocked in affected areas.
To donate, visit redcross.org, call 800-RED-CROSS or text the word LAURA to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Second Harvest Food Bank of South Louisiana
This local food bank in southern Louisiana is distributing emergency food, water, and supplies. They are also currently seeking volunteers to help prepare meals. They are also accepting canned food and monetary donations. You can find out more here.
World Central Kitchen
Helmed by celebrity chef José Andrés, World Central Kitchen has mobilized to Texas and Louisiana and set up kitchens to provide meals for impacted communities. You can donate to their efforts here.
Disaster teams from the Salvation Army have mobilized in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas to provide emergency services and food to communities affected by Hurricane Laura. They have over 30 mobile feeding units at the ready, and more equipment and teams are on stand-by. You can donate to their efforts here.
Save the Children
Save the Children pre-positioned supplies prior to the storm in order to provide hygiene kits, diapers, wipes, cribs, and other essential supplies to families affected by the hurricane. “Thousands of children have been ripped from the lives that they knew – unsure of what the future may hold – and it’s critical we get them and their families the essentials they need to begin to recover during this difficult time,” said Sarah Thompson, Save the Children’s director for U.S. emergencies.
The aid organization will also work with local education partners in coastal Louisiana and Texas to help restore child care and early learning centers devastated by Hurricane Laura. You can donate to their efforts here.