On August 27th, 2020, Hurricane Laura made landfall in the southwest corner of Louisiana; it is reported to be the strongest hurricane to hit in 164 years. The storm has killed 18 people and FEMA is estimating the total cost in damage to be $12 billion. 8,000 people from Louisiana are seeking shelter in Texas, another 8,000 are in New Orleans sheltering. So far, 46,000 people have applied for FEMA assistance.
World Renew DRS is well poised for response with Regional Volunteer Managers Len and Carrie Blauwkamp, who served in this part of the country during DRS’ response to Hurricane Harvey. In addition, World Renew’s relationships with local recovery organizations are some of our longest standing partnerships.
With long term sites in Texas still active and doing recovery work for Hurricane Harvey, DRS is already on the ground in Texas and ready to mobilize, starting with a $5,000 grant to meet the immediate basic needs of storm survivors.
In Louisiana, which has not had any recent disasters, DRS will dedicate its resources to reopening local recovery organizations to begin needs assessment and rapid response. In Len’s words:
“Louisiana is still very much in the emergency and early response stages. Three parishes are still under evacuation orders. Residents can come in during the day but have to leave by 7:00 p.m. Many places do not have sewer, water or electric services, and in Cameron Parish it is estimated that it will take 2 months to restore electricity. We don’t even know the full extent of the damage.”
Please pray for the families and communities affected by the hurricane. Also pray for DRS staff and volunteers and all disaster responders, as the coronavirus pandemic greatly complicates how to help and respond.
Len and Carrie will travel to Texas and Louisiana in early October to visit with area organizations and long term recovery groups. They will determine the best and most effective way that DRS can help the long term recovery efforts in these communities.
In the meantime, your donations empower World Renew DRS to help meet the immediate needs of families currently suffering. We are accepting donations for Hurricane Laura below.