We are currently accepting volunteer applications with a start date of June 6. If you or someone you know is interested, apply for our Hurricane Ida Relief Program. We have made the difficult decision to pause our Hurricane Ida Relief program until June 2022. We want to ensure the highest quality of work and remain committed to supporting communities affected by Hurricane Ida.
Our Hurricane Ida Relief program is transitioning from response to long-term recovery as we continue to support communities affected by Hurricane Ida.
Hurricane Ida devastated Louisiana as a category 4 hurricane on August 29, 2021, before continuing to leave a path of destruction through the eastern coast of the United States. On September 1, Ida slammed the northeastern United States with record breaking rainfall causing historic flood levels in New York and New Jersey. All Hands and Hearts responded to the immediate need in Louisiana and committed to supporting the communities affected by Ida. Our initial response teams focused on the immediate needs of the community, including hazard tree removal, tarping and muck and gutting homes that were damaged by the storm.
In the weeks leading up to the holidays, volunteers completed response work in the underserved communities of Ponchatoula, Kenner and LaPlace. Since beginning work in the area in September 2021, we have focused our efforts on the immediate needs of the community, completing 38 muck and guts of homes, 13 mold sanitations and 45 tree and debris removal sites.
Our commitment continues to support these communities and we are currently transitioning from response to long term recovery, supporting the long-term needs of those affected by Hurricane Ida. 2. Our focus in the second phase of this program will be on interior home repairs, including flooring, cabinetry and siding. We are looking to plug our volunteer labor force and project management expertise into local hurricane mitigation initiatives. This builds upon our successful wildfire mitigation pilot in California, and it recognizes the reality of the environment’s role in natural disasters.
Category 4 Hurricane Ida made landfall over the Port Fourchon community in Louisiana at about 11:55 am CT on August 29, 2021 – the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Ida was first observed as a tropical depression on August 26, after passing over Cuba as a category 1 hurricane, Ida underwent a rapid intensification, progressing to a category 4 hurricane by the time it made landfall in Louisiana. Communities in Louisiana saw tropical storm conditions as early as Saturday evening and were hit by Ida on late Sunday evening, August 29, and into the morning of August 30. Wind speeds exceeding 150 mph were sustained for a total of 6 hours, twice the duration of the 125 mph sustained winds of Hurricane Katrina. There are over 2 million people who live in the affected area, and as of Monday morning, over 1.06 million are reported without power and over 18,000 people had already filed for federal aid.
While the levee system that protects New Orleans held during the hurricane, multiple towns outside its protection saw catastrophic flooding and storm surge. Fallen trees and debris litter the streets across Ida’s path.
On August 27, 2021, All Hands and Heart stationed their Disaster Assessment and Response Team (DART) in Beaumont, Texas in preparation for Hurricane Ida Two teams headed towards New Orleans along two different routes to cover more ground and gain a better understanding of the damage done by Ida. One team went west through Laplace and found widespread damage while the other team went east of Baton Rouge and found downed trees and potential roofs that needed tarping. On September 2, additional members joined the team in New Orleans and deployed to the New Orleans metropolitan area where they met with partners and conducted initial assessments.
From our initial assessment to our current scope of work, All Hands and Hearts is prioritizing the compounding risk of COVID-19 and is leveraging its experience of running disaster relief programs throughout the pandemic. We remain focused on supporting communities in need, both responsibly and safely.
Due to the five named storms that made landfall in Louisiana in 2020, All Hands and Hearts had another team prepared to rapidly respond to Hurricane Ida. The Hurricane Laura Team was pulled back to the safety of San Antonio, Texas, in preparation for the storm. Now that it is safe, the team has returned to Dequincy and is prepared to provide any additional resources necessary to further respond to Ida.
On multiple fronts, we were prepared to respond immediately to Hurricane Ida and launch a program of volunteers and staff to support the impacts.
Since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, All Hands and Hearts has responded to 4 major disasters in Louisiana, including our current response and recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricanes Laura and Delta that hit Southeast Louisiana just one year ago.
Images show the movement of Hurricane Ida as it made landfall on August 29, 2021.
Ida passed over the northeastern United States the evening of September 1, causing destructive tornadoes and historic levels of rainfall in areas that were already saturated by Hurricane Henri in late-August. In New York City, most city subway lines were suspended due to the flooding, and both New York and New Jersey declared a state of emergency. The rain was so extensive that for many parts of New York City, it is the first time in history that there has ever been a flash flood emergency warning.
COVID-19 Safety Measures
Review our COVID-19 Safety Measures & Updates to learn about the new operational standards we’re implementing on program to safeguard the people in the communities we serve, volunteers and staff.
Ms. Bernice has lived in her home in the suburbs of New Orleans since it was built in 1961. In the wake of Hurricane Ida the ceiling of her lounge, her favorite room of her home, caved in and as many of her windows were damaged, rain and flooding led to a build up of mold.
Ms. Bernice holds her family dear. She lived with and cared for her sister who had paraplegia for 26 years until her passing a year ago, and her home is full of photos of her extended family. She told our team in Louisiana that when her brother suggested she may have to sell her home, she cried saying “This is where my family is.” She shared with program volunteers and staff that although most of her family members are no longer physically with her, her home is where she feels them most; surrounded by the love and memories they’ve shared there over the years.
Although it has been hard for her to watch damaged structures and personal items be removed from her beloved home, Ms. Bernice told the team in Louisiana that she wants to do whatever it takes to make it safe so she can continue living there.
Our teams were able to make her home a safer place, by mucking and gutting Ms. Bernice’s bedroom, bathroom, and a large walk in closet and finished up this week by taking down the damaged ceiling in her lounge.
The team in Louisiana has cultivated a close relationship with Ms. Bernice and describes her as “funny, so sweet, and no matter what the destruction has been…her house still feels like home to so many.”
Since beginning work to support the underserved communities of Ponchatoula, Kenner and LaPlace, in September 2021, we have focused our efforts on the immediate needs of the community, completing 38 muck and guts of homes, 13 mold sanitations and 45 tree and debris removal sites.