How to help Hurricane Ida victims: 4 things you can do right now, from GoFundMe to local charities

By Diana Shi

August 31, 2021

Hurricane Ida made landfall shortly before noon on Sunday, Central time. It was downgraded to a Category 2 storm (from its peak as a Category 4) hours after striking ground.

The storm escalated at an alarmingly fast pace. New Orleans eventually lost power after intense winds disconnected the city from the electrical grid, throttling transmission lines. The city may see its power restored late Wednesday, according to Entergy. The natural disaster occurred devastatingly on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which made impact August 29, 2005.

Many areas of Southeastern Louisiana will need extensive recovery time and support. The president of St. John Parish, which sits on the Mississippi River and includes the LaPlace community, told Louisiana’s governor Tuesday that Ida was “the worst disaster we’ve seen.”

If you’re looking to donate to individual funds or aid organizations, here are a few ways to extend your support. The best and most effective donations are made in cash, according to FEMA.

    GoFundMe: GoFundMe displays a collection of verified campaigns that donate to those affected by Hurricane Ida, including areas where locals hunkered down as well as people looking to rebuild their lives after Ida’s destruction. Find a complete list of fundraisers in need of relief here.

    United Way of Southeast Louisiana: According to the City of New Orleans emergency preparedness campaign, NOLA Ready, the best way to donate is directly. The donations made to the United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s “Hurricane Ida Relief Fund” will provide the most immediate support, including future community rebuilding. Donate directly to the aid organization here. And visit the NOLA Ready website here, or text “NOLAREADY” to 77295.

    Red Cross: The Red Cross has mobilized its trained team members along the path of Hurricane Ida to provide shelter and resources to those directly impacted. You can donate to the Red Cross and support their Hurricane Idea relief efforts by visiting this link here.

    All Hearts and Hands: This relief organization specifically focuses on natural disaster relief, driven by its network of volunteers. All Hearts and Hands prepared a disaster assessment and response team before Ida made contact, which the nonprofit has done ahead of other hurricanes in Louisiana (including five other storms in 2020 alone). Make your donation by visiting the donation link on the website here.