Red Cross, United Way, begin local Hurricane Ida relief efforts

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Relief
City of Birmingham Hurricane Dorian Relief efforts at Boutwell Auditorium on September 12, 2019. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

While Hurricane Ida inches its way northward through Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, several local relief organizations are ready to assist people in need.

Read on to learn how you can help. 

First, the latest on Ida

American Red Cross
American Red Cross staff preparing shelter on the Gulf Coast before Hurricane Ida. Photo via American Red Cross

The hurricane made landfall at noon as a category 4 storm at Port Fourchon, Louisiana, inflicting extensive damage from winds up to 145 miles per hour. By Monday morning, Ida had weakened and become a tropical storm. Over the next two days, the storm is expected to cause flash flooding in Mississippi and Alabama. 

According to Poweroutage.us — over a million homes in Louisiana are without electricity, including the entire city of New Orleans.

In Alabama, make sure to follow Alabama Power for the latest on power outages and their efforts to assist Louisiana and Mississippi.

How to Help

Birmingham, American Red Cross
Michele Grady of the American Red Cross handing out meals at a distribution point for families affected by Hurricane Laura. Photo via Scott Dalton for the American Red Cross

Locally, we reached out to the American Red Cross spokesperson Annette Rowland about ways they are providing Hurricane Ida relief.

  1. Shelters

There are presently 36 people staying in the Alabama shelter in south Alabama. 

For those evacuating and looking for the latest open shelter locations, 

  • Visit redcross.org
  • Call 1-800-RED CROSS
  • Download the free Red Cross Emergency app.

2. Donate Blood

Donate blood to avoid any disruptions in the blood supply. ✅Redcrossblood.org

3. Buy a Hot Meal

Make a donation at redcross.org. Financial donations help make their work possible.  Just $10 Provides 1 hot meal and additional snacks to a person impacted by Hurricane Ida.

Call United Way’s 2-1-1

United Way 2-1-1
United Way 2-1-1

Know someone who needs assistance? Call United Way of Central Alabama’s 2-1-1 service.  Our local 211 agency has the most up-to-date information about local assistance that may be available to you. Simply call 211 from a cell phone or landline to speak with a live, highly trained service professional.

Additional Groups to Support

Birmingham Catholic
Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church – photo by Pat Byington, Bham Now

Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), the official domestic relief agency of the U.S. Catholic Church has launched a text-to-give campaign to provide direct assistance to victims of Hurricane Ida through the response efforts of its local agencies in the hurricane’s path. 

To donate, text HurrIda to 41444 or visit www.CatholicCharitiesUSA.org. To donate by phone, please call 1-800-919-9338.

CNN’s Impact Your World – CNN has identified six  organizations supporting relief efforts. They include: Americares, Airlink, Save the Children, Global Giving Foundation and others. 

Research Charities

Always be leery of potential charity scams during a natural disaster. If you are unsure about a group, check it out at the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, the Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or GuideStar

Stay tuned

In the coming days, we expect several local foundations, cities and  organizations to step up. 

Follow Bham Now for details.

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Pat Byington
Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.
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