Many Louisiana citizens and their families were unfavorably affected by the dangerous winds, storm surges, and torrential conditions of Hurricane Ida in August, but many Louisiana organizations and communities have banded together to create a plethora of resources for anyone affected by the storm to take advantage of, according to several news outlets, including KATC.
Hurricane Ida was the second major hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, and it stands as one of the most damaging hurricanes to ever strike Louisiana. Worth noting, Hurricane Ida made landfall near Port Fourchon on August 29, 2021: the sixteenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. In its path, it left destruction that devastated the bayou and river parishes of Louisiana. In true Louisiana form, citizens across the state in areas less affected by the storm jumped at the opportunity to provide valuable resources and start mutual aid funds and donation drives for those impacted.
All homeowners and renters in the 25 Louisiana parishes hit by Hurricane Ida can now begin to apply for FEMA assistance. On the Wednesday following the storm, Governor John Bel Edwards announced, “everybody out there who is a Hurricane Ida survivor needs to apply to FEMA for individual assistance. It doesn’t happen automatically. To apply, go to disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362.
Operation Blue Roof
One of the more immediately helpful resources available to homeowners in select parishes is the ability to apply to have the Army Corps of Engineers cover their damaged roofs for free by using fiber-reinforced sheeting throughOperation Blue Roof. To sign up, go to blueroof.us or call 1-888-766-3258. The Army Corp had installed approximately 14,000 blue tarps in southwest Louisiana last year after Hurricane Laura.
In Ida’s wake, many grocery stores were closed, damaged, or both, meaning that much of their food supply was lost, defrosted, or destroyed as a result. This led to many food banks thinking of unconventional ways to procure food for the communities they serve. When they were made aware of this, authorities at the parish, state, and federal level began siling and processing paperwork to expand the state’s food stamp program to those suffering from the storm who wouldn’t otherwise qualify for food stamps due to their income level being too high.
In light of Hurricane Ida, DSNAP, the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is expected to be activated soon. This version of the program not only expands SNAP benefits to more people but also waives some previously-held restrictions such as participants not being allowed to purchase “hot food products prepared for immediate consumption” with their benefits. The waiver being applied for will allow for “SNAP recipients to use their benefits to buy prepared foods available at any retailer that accepts EBT cards, usually grocery stores.”
It’s expected that DSNAP benefits are be approved and go into effect one to two weeks after Ida made landfall, so until then citizens should pre-register by visiting www.dcfs.louisiana.gov/cafe or by calling 225-342-6700 between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. Additionally, anyone wanting to receive DSNAP updates should text ‘LADSNAP’ to 898-211.
Outside of DNSAP benefits, Louisiana’s food banks have been hard at work coordinating with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry for supplies. Additionally, Koret Patty, the executive director of the statewide association of food banks known as Feeding Louisiana, applied on the Tuesday following Ida’s impact to temporarily suspend the proof of income documentation required for those receiving commodities from a food bank.
In the week following the storm, food banks in the greater Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas were setting up food and water stations across their respective cities; the Red Cross had set up mobile kitchens in LaPlace, Morgan City, and Hammond; several food and supply stations were installed across Lafourche Parish in Thibodaux, Raceland, Lockport, and Golden Meadow; and the Louisiana Workforce Commission was supervising the feedings conducted at state shelters.
Places to Donate
- Nicholls Campus Emergency & Hurricane Relief Fund; established by the Nicholls State University Foundationto assist students, faculty, and staff in times of unique needs.
- Bayou Recovery Fund for Hurricane Ida Relief; established by the Bayou Community Foundation, a charitable foundation solely focused on sustaining the communities of LaFourche Parish, Terrebonne Parish, and Grande Isle.
- Check out this collection of donation and supply drives in the Acadiana area; published by KATC.
- The New York Times’ list of communities affected by Hurricane Ida that are accepting donations.
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