Louisiana National Guardsmen rescue people in LaPlace, Louisiana, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. Credit: The Louisiana National Guard via Flickr.
Measuring as a category 4 storm, just one class under Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ida swept the Gulf Coast this weekend with crashing waves and winds reaching 150 miles per hour along the Louisiana coastline. The irony of Ida’s appearance? It landed on Aug. 29, exactly 16 years to the date of Katrina.
Ida continued its path north this week, with the remnants of the hurricane causing catastrophic flooding and more than a dozen deaths in the Northeast. Back in Louisiana, hundreds of thousands of people were still without power as of Wednesday, and New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell told evacuees on Monday not to return to the city as remaining residents struggled to access essential services.
Ida has made landfall as a Category 4 Hurricane with winds 150mph and a pressure of 930 mb. The only Hurricane to make landfall in Louisiana with a lower pressure was Katrina… 16 years ago today with 920 mb. pic.twitter.com/0Ic6RewzSq
— Melissa Nord (@MelissaNordWx) August 29, 2021
Then and Now: I was here for Hurricane Katrina. Comparisons have been made. Since I had one of the only HD cameras here in 2005, and still have the raw footage, I ventured out to the same places after Hurricane #Ida. Here’s what I found.@WWLTV @11AliveNews pic.twitter.com/Cv3AmqodJ4
— Brendan Keefe (@BrendanKeefe) August 31, 2021
As an epicenter of culture, New Orleans is one of many cities that’s near and dear to our hearts. It’s home to events like Essence Festival and Mardis Gras, historic sites, cultural experiences, famous entertainers and mouth-watering foods like beignets and seafood gumbo. Most importantly, however, it’s home to the people born and raised there — the people who cherish it most.
As residents deal with the aftermath of the hurricane, many of us are looking for ways to help from afar. We’ve gathered a few Black-aligned organizations that are dedicated to keeping their NOLA-based communities safe during Ida and beyond.
Another Gulf Is Possible
Led by women of color and a grassroots collaborative, Another Gulf Is Possible is a collective effort of citizens along the Texas-to-Florida coast working in alliance to network and organize from the U.S. Gulf South to the Global South. Some of its initiatives include cultural organizing, art-based healing, transformative justice and more. Following Hurricane Ida, this organization provided power map guidelines, organized free meal drives and kept the community updated on local news surrounding Ida’s aftermath. To help with their continued efforts, you can donate here.
Another Gulf Is Possible’s #JustIdaRecovery Frontline Resource page is up @ https://t.co/Q8lZEzaAal with mutual aid, orgs to donate to, resources and other kinds of #HurricaneIda prep/recovery information. Please share and keep your prayers up! pic.twitter.com/Vmyw1TeLuS
— Another Gulf Is Possible (@AnotherGulf_) August 28, 2021
Our Voice Nuestra Voz
Founded in 2015 by parents who aimed to expand educational access to students, Our Voice Nuestra Voz advocates for more equitable learning environments across the classroom. Some of the group’s core concepts include grassroots organizing and campaigns such as Protect Parent Voice, #BlackAndBrownGetDown and Family Literacy Night. Recently, OVNV has dedicated its time to updating New Orleans residents on information regarding Ida, has arranged drive-thru ready-to-eat meals and water handouts for those battling food insecurities and organized cooling centers for those in need of air conditioning and charging ports. You can donate to help ONVN continue its mission of creating and furthering self-determined Black and Brown communities of New Orleans by clicking here.
Imagine Water Works
Imagine Water Works is a local queer, Native, Creole and trans-led organization focused on climate justice, disaster preparation and mutual aid. In the past, it has organized other hurricane relief programs, water collaboratives and covid resource guides. Following Ida, the network is currently working on recovery resources and providing community power maps, guides to hurricane season and community resources, community power stations and detailed frontline resource mobilization pages. To assist this organization, you can donate here.
Established by formerly incarcerated women in 2016, Operation Restoration supports women and girls impacted by imprisonment. Some of their programs advocate for former and current incarcerated women, artistic exposure, citizenship, education, housing, social services and LGBTQ rights. In response to Ida, they recently held food distributions to local neighborhoods impacted by the loss of power. You can help their community efforts by donating here.
While thoughts and prayers are helpful, monetary gifts are even more useful. As no stranger to disaster, New Orleans residents will rally together and rebuild, revitalize and restore their city. Let’s make it easier for them to do so.
Sierra Allen is an Atlanta-based writer who considers herself a creative by nature and storyteller at heart. As a Black culture enthusiast, she writes with purpose and passion while highlighting local and national community-centered topics.