Over the weekend, torrential rainfall caused historic flooding in Southeast Louisiana. According to the Red Cross, the disaster is “the worst to hit the United States since Superstorm Sandy” and will cost the state at least $30 million in damages (and that number is likely to grow). At least 13 people have died across five parishes. The U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard, and local emergency responders have rescued more than 30,000 people and 1,400 pets from the floodwaters, and more rain is expected in the coming days.
Monetary donations are the most effective way to help in a crisis, because it saves the time and energy it takes volunteers to unpack and inventory items. However, the New Orleans Times-Picayune has lists of material items that organizations will accept in lieu of financial donations.
Here are several ways you can make immediate monetary donations (and other types of contributions) to flood recovery:
American Red Cross: Text the word LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation; visit RedCross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to donate another amount. The American Red Cross have deployed over 1,000 disaster volunteers to the affected area. They have set up shelters for evacuated residents and are sending nearly 40,000 ready-to-eat meals and dozens of trailers filled with shelter and kitchen supplies to Louisiana.
United Way of Southeast Louisiana: Text LAFLOOD to 313131 or visit UnitedWaysela.org. The United Way of Southwest Louisiana is also accepting donations of goods including toiletries, cleaning kits, and baby and pet products.
Second Harvest Food Bank: Donate here to help the food bank distribute thousands of pounds of food, water and supplies to flood victims. The organization will also accept donations of nonperishable food items and other supplies.
The Salvation Army: Visit this website to help flood survivors obtain food, shelter, comfort, and a plan for recovery.
The Gulf Coast Floods Children’s Relief Fund: Donate here to help Save the Children protect children and provide relief to families.
Companion Animal Alliance of Baton Rouge: Learn more here about donating to help evacuate animals from the affected areas.
Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana (A+PEL): Click here to support teachers whose classroom materials were destroyed during flooding.
An even more comprehensive list of organizations involved in flood relief can be found here.