Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday as a Category 4 storm, hitting the southeastern part of the state with destructive winds and rainfall that have caused widespread damage throughout the region.
And after hitting the mainland, remnants of Ida made their way north to the Philadelphia region, bringing severe wind and rain that has caused massive flooding and damage throughout the area. The death toll in Ida’s wake is continuing to rise, and more than 60,000 residents of the Philadelphia region were without power as of Thursday morning.
Many organizations are mobilizing to help with rescue and recovery. Here are ways to help:
How to help: tips
Make sure to give to an organization you trust. You can check out an organization on charity rating websites such as Charity Navigator, CharityWatch, or Guidestar, which evaluate nonprofits and recommend creditable charitable organizations. Charity Navigator, for example, has a list of more than a dozen recommended organizations that are responding in Louisiana and other states. The Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests choosing an organization through the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster coalition.
Cash is better than goods. While seeing destroyed homes and businesses may prompt you to donate things like clothing, food, or other items, FEMA and the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster both say that cash donations are the best way to help, and to never send unsolicited items. Some of the groups below are looking for donations of items.
If you want to volunteer, go through trusted organizations. FEMA says online that you should never “self-deploy to disaster areas.”
Give blood. Blood donations are often needed after a disaster. You can find out where to donate at redcrossblood.org.
Organizations helping victims of Ida
There are a number of organizations working to combat Hurricane Ida’s impact both locally and in the Louisiana area. If you know about any more local efforts helping people affected by Ida in the Philly region, please let us know.
The Upper Merion Area Community Cupboard is seeking donations and volunteers to help sort them. According to the group’s page, “The mission of the community cupboard is to improve food security within the boundaries of the school district and otherwise promote healthy lifestyles and the well-being of individuals or families in need.” The group is set on personal items for now, but actively looking for volunteers. Contact Anna Derby, pantry co-ordinator, at 484-868-5619.
The Bourse will be collecting donations of clothing, non-perishable food, water, and non-essential food items in support of people in Mullica Hill, N.J, who lost their homes and belongings. Bring goods to the Bourse (111 S. Independence Mall E.) anytime until Friday, Sept. 10. Bins will be at every entrance to the food hall. You can also drop off donations directly at Clearview Regional High School (625 Breakneck Rd., Mullica Hill, N.J.)
Brandywine Valley SPCA. The BVSPCA rescued more than 100 dogs and cats from Louisiana prior to Hurricane Ida, and now post-storm prep is underway. You can help by adopting or fostering one of the rescued animals or by donating directly to the BVSPCA.
Snacktime Philly. This local brass band and event planning outfit is auctioning off a one-hour performance to the highest bidder, with proceeds to benefit New Orleans musicians. Funds will go to Krewe of Red Beans, a NOLA-based cultural charity organization. You can bid via Snacktime Philly’s Instagram page.
Pizzeria Beddia. Chef Joe Beddia’s Fishtown pizza joint is donating 10% of sales from its Hoagie Room — which provides a two-hour “hoagie omakase experience” — to Chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen organization to help provide meals to survivors of Hurricane Ida. You can book a Hoagie Room reservation (for parties of six at $75 per person) throughout September to chip in.
Organizations in Louisiana
Another Gulf Is Possible. A social justice-focused organization in the region, Another Gulf has set up its Mutual Aid & Rapid Response Fund to distribute donations directly to Indigenous, Black, and brown frontline people and families affected by Hurricane Ida. You can make donations via its ActBlue page.
Cajun Navy Relief. This New Orleans-based organization, founded following Hurricane Katrina, offers disaster rescue and relief efforts. The group is accepting supplies such as toiletries and canned food, which you can arrange to donate here. Or, you can donate money via the organization’s PayPal page.
The American Red Cross. The Red Cross says that it has about 350 workers in areas affected by Hurricane Ida and 60 shelters helping people in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. You can donate online, or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS, or texting “IDA” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. You can schedule a blood donation with your local Red Cross chapter by entering your zip code at redcrossblood.org website.
The Salvation Army. Units in Texas coastal spots have more than 35 mobile kitchens, a refrigerated truck, laundry unit, shower unit, and other resources to help those affected by Hurricane Ida. You can help their efforts with a donation, which will help provide victims and rescue workers with food, drinks, shelter, and other emergency services.
Mutual Aid Disaster Relief. A grassroots organization, MADR focuses on “solidarity, mutual aid, and autonomous direct action” in affected communities. It is accepting volunteers to help with fund-raisers and supplies for people affected by Hurricane Ida via an online form, and donations for recovery efforts via its website.
The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies. This group’s Disability and Disaster Hotline (1-800-626-4959) helps connect people with disabilities who have been affected by Hurricane Ida to resources on the ground. You can make a donation via its website.
Americares. Established in 1979, this global nonprofit responds to disaster emergencies of all kinds. For Hurricane Ida, it has partnered with software company MathWorks to match any donation (up to $10,000) to help reach its goal of $500,000 for people affected by the storm. Donate at the Americares website.
Project HOPE. This group has long had an emergency response presence in the region, including for Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and last year’s Hurricane Laura. Now, it is focusing on mitigating the health effects of Hurricane Ida with medical personnel, hygiene supplies, PPE, and other efforts. You can make a donation on the Project Hope website.
» READ MORE: Our best Philly tips: Read our most useful stories.