A few nights ago (August 26), as Hurricane Laura headed closer and closer to the Louisiana and Texas coasts, weather experts warned that the impact of the storm would be “unsurvivable,” saying the storm could go from a Category 4 to 5 (by comparison, Hurricane Katrina was a Category 3). It was expected that with sustained winds of 150 mph, this could be the worst hurricane in recent history. Along with winds and flooding, weather reports warned of tornadoes in Louisiana, southeast Texas, and southwestern Mississippi. At least 500,000 residents were told to evacuate, but as we learned (the hard, devastating way) from Hurricane Katrina, often those in the most impoverished areas don’t have the means to evacuate, and so they buckle down and shelter in place.
Luckily, the hurricane has now been de-categorized as a tropical depression. But while the hurricane de-escalated, it still managed to sustain a great amount of damage — and considering the nation is also currently dealing with the California fires and COVID-19, some worry FEMA may not have enough resources to help those in need who were impacted by Hurricane Laura.
Based on the most recent reports from the Weather Channel (where you can see images of the destruction), we now know that at least four (some reports say six) people were killed in Louisiana (from falling trees), many buildings have been damaged in Texas, and almost 1 million homes are without power.
If you’re looking for ways to help Hurricane Laura victims, here are some options.
The New York Times suggests to fully research before you donate to any organizations. “Organizations distribute money according to the community’s most urgent needs, which can change quickly,” the publication stated. Here are some sites they’ve listed that are reputable:
This non-profit org is totally citizen-led and helps rescue people who are stranded and need supplies. Right now, their most urgent needs include: boots, cleaning supplies like bleach, insect spray, wipes, gloves, masks and disinfectant. You can donate supplies here.
SBP’s site says thats it “provides resilience training in ten communities per year and engages in recovery efforts across the country to make vulnerable residents resilient to potential disaster and rebuild for those who have survived disaster.” SBP was actually founded by a couple who were disappointed and frustrated with the state and government’s lack of response to helping those in critical need after Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana, so they formed this organization to help train people on how to quickly rebuild and restore buildings. You can donate here.
The site states that “We are raising money from people who want to help their neighbors in Southwest Louisiana return to the lives they’d known before this disaster struck. The contributions we receive will be granted to nonprofits that have proven they don’t flinch when catastrophe comes.” This org covers essential needs, like food, water, and shelter. Donate here.
While affiliate with the Church, the ADR’s main priority is making sure it has enough donation to help people evacuate and get temporary housing in Austin hotels. It also hands out basics like toiletries, hygiene kits, and clothing (which is very important, since chances are, those who evacuated quickly may not have had time to back.) Look here on information on how to donate.
This national organization is pulling together all its resources to help the victims of Hurricane Laura across the board. You can choose however much you want to donate and you can be rest assured your donation will be put to good use.
This foundation focuses on providing PPE to healthcare workers, as well as medicine and medication for those with injuries or illnesses. Again, you can choose however much you want to donate.
We’ll keep you posted on more news on Hurricane Laura and where your donations can make the most impact.
Image via Unsplash