As Hurricane Ida continues north, residents in coastal Louisiana and Mississippi grapple with the mass destruction left by the joint most powerful hurricane to make landfall in Louisiana since records began. People living in New Orleans may be without power for weeks.

Many aid groups, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, are already on the ground in New Orleans, assisting people in a city that Hurricane Katrina devastated 16 years ago to the day. 

FEMA has established a staging area in Alexandria, Louisiana, that will host response teams in addition to providing 1 million meals, 1.6 million liters of water and more than 160 generators. In addition, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been deployed to help restore power and clear debris, among other duties.

While New Orleans’ flood and emergency planning has improved drastically since Katrina hit in late Aug. 2005, the city and small communities in rural coastal Louisiana and Mississippi will still need assistance.

As of right now, emergency planners are asking people to stay away from hard-hit areas until the full scale of the destruction can be assessed.

FEMA does take donations here, but if you’d prefer your money to go to a local organization or if you need help, check out the options below. And as always, be aware of scammers. You can research organizations through CharityWatch, Charity Navigator, The Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, or Guidestar.

New Orleans

 

The New Orleans Musicians Clinic

The organization helps musicians and other culture bearers in the city with food, mental health and other medical issues. You can donate food, money and other goods through the website.

How to help: donate here.

If you need help, call: 504-412-1366

The Second Harvest Food Bank

As a member of the Feeding American program, Second Harvest is a reputable organization that delivers 32 million meals to more than 210,000 people a year. It operates food banks in New Orleans and Lafayette, in addition to providing food to school pantries in South Louisiana and has a summer feeding program for kids. It also has a senior’s café, a backpack program and offers its clients assistance with economic stability.

How to help: donate here.

If you need help, call: 855-392-9338.

Hands on New Orleans

Hands on New Orleans has been revitalizing parts of New Orleans since 2006. The organization has a disaster management program, but also manages projects relating to school revitalization, youth recreation, neighborhood beautification, urban gardening and environmental restoration and blight reduction.

How to help: donate here.

If you need help, call: 504-827-6854

House of Tulip

While not strictly an emergency organization, House of Tulip aims to solve housing problems faced by trans people in Louisiana, who may suffer disproportionately because of Hurricane Ida. Approximately 1 in 3 trans people living in the state deal with homelessness at some point and are often not welcomed by Christian assistance groups.

How to help: donate here.

If you need help: anyone requiring help should complete the initial needs assessment.

Cajun Navy Relief

The group offers emergency and non-emergency rescue services to anyone who needs it, provided they can reach you.

How to help: You can donate supplies or send money through Paypal.

If you need help: Complete this quick form if you need rescued or equipment.

Baton Rouge

 

The Cajun Navy also assists people living in Baton Rouge. See above for details. 

The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank

The Christian-led organization has been going since 1984 and delivers food to 115 different groups. It also runs a backpack program, as well as a seniors grocery program, help with SNAP applications and assists children with getting healthy meals.

How to help: donate here.

If you need help: Enter your zip code at the link or call (225) 359-9940 for more information.

Companion Animal Alliance of Baton Rouge

The Companion Animal Alliance of Baton Rouge helps find emergency fosters for animals in need.

How to foster: You can become a foster using this link.

How to help: donate money here.

If you need help: Look here for lost and found animals as well as ways to help.

Adopt: Right here!

Mississippi

 

There are plenty of food pantries along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. Most of them can be found at this link.

A list of shelters and emergency housing can be found here.

Mississippi rapid response coalition

The Mississippi Rapid Response Coalition offers rapid response assistance to anyone who has been impacted by Hurricane Ida. Additionally, volunteers are needed for hotline assistance and supply distribution.

How to help: complete this volunteer form. 

If you need help, call: English: 1-800-608-1031, Español: 1-888-970-4253

General Gulf Coast

Another Gulf is a women-of-color-led group stretching from Brownsville, Texas, to Pensacola, Florida. It has provided a frontline resources mobilization page for people requiring help anywhere along the Gulf Coast. It includes best practice emergency needs for babies and children, how to be helpful, advice on how to reach out to family and friends affected by hurricanes and flooding, and information on gutting your flooded home.

How to help: donate here

If you need help: Check out the group’s front page for help.

Go Fund Me has grouped together 11 verified fundraisers who are asking for financial help. You can donate here.

If you’re worried about the next hurricane already, check out Reckon’s helpful low-cost tips on how to survive and recover.