Hurricane Ida has left over a million people without power—here's what you can do to help

Locals are in need of support as they begin to rebuild their community

Hurricane Ida: Residents move a boat through a flooded neighborhood on August 31, 2021 in Barataria, Louisiana. Many stores remain closed and services suspended as power throughout New Orleans and its surrounding region is down
(Image credit: Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Hurricane Ida stormed through Louisiana on Sunday—the same day as the 16th anniversary of hurricane Katrina. With homes and businesses destroyed in its wake, locals are in need of support as they begin to rebuild their community.

As Hurricane Ida continues sweeping through the Gulf Coast, over a million people in Louisiana are left without power. So far, four deaths have been confirmed, but as search and rescue efforts continue, the number is predicted to rise. 

According to the local government, power outages could remain for weeks. Ida is the fifth-strongest hurricane to ever hit mainland US with Hurricane Katrina still considered one of the most devastating hurricanes to hit the country. 

As victims of the storm look to move forward, the task at hand seems colossal—there's just so much to rebuild.

First responders rescue a resident from floodwater left behind by Hurricane Ida in LaPlace, Louisiana, U.S., on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021.

(Image credit: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Where did Hurricane Ida hit?

The Gulf Coast of the United States felt the brunt of destruction from Hurricane Ida. Louisiana was the unlucky state to be hit hardest, but that’s not the only state that has been affected. As Ida continues moving, it’s also predicted to reach Mississippi and Florida but at lower levels. Already, the hurricane has been labeled a tropical depression which means that winds will be below 100 mph and there won’t be as heavy rainfall. 

What category is Hurricane Ida?

On Sunday, the storm was labeled a category 4 hurricane. More than 2 million people living in and around New Orleans and the Baton Rouge area were under threat. Uprooted trees caused road blockages and infrastructure damage, while heavy rainfall contributed to massive flooding throughout the area. The storm was so powerful that it even reversed the flow of the Mississippi river as it swept through. 

Now, as Hurricane Ida heads towards Mississippi, the National Hurricane Center has downgraded it to a tropical depression, predicting it will leave behind less destruction compared to the aftermath of Louisiana. 

Hurricane Ida: A tree uprooted by Hurricane Ida in LaPlace, Louisiana, U.S., on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021.

(Image credit: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

How to help victims of Hurricane Ida

The city of New Orleans has stated it cannot directly receive money, but has recommended the following organizations if you want to help victims of Hurricane Ida:

United Way of Southeast Louisiana—the city of New Orleans describes this group as “being in the city before, during, and after disasters.” All proceeds will be used for immediate relief efforts.

Greater New Orleans Foundation—helping to mobilize and support active community organizations during the wake of disasters.

Relief Gang—this disaster relief group was created after the destruction of Hurricane Harvey. Currently, they have gathered together volunteers to head to Louisiana to help with search and rescue efforts (they also accept monetary donations).

The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies—this hotline aims to help disabled people who have been impacted by natural disasters. One of the main ways it assists people in need is by connecting them to resources on the ground.

Americares—this non-profit has partnered with MathWorks to match donations up to $500,000 to help provide relief for victims of Hurricane Ida.

World Central Kitchen—founded by chef José Andrés, the non-profit organization looks to provide meals for people in need in the wake of natural disasters. It sends people on the ground to New Orleans to help feed those impacted by the hurricane.

Rylee Johnston

Rylee is a U.S. news writer who previously worked for woman&home and My Imperfect Life covering lifestyle, celebrity, and fashion news. Before joining woman&home and My Imperfect Life, Rylee studied journalism at Hofstra University where she explored her interests in world politics and magazine writing. From there, she dabbled in freelance writing covering fashion and beauty e-commerce for outlets such as the TODAY show, American Spa Magazine, First for Women, and Woman’s World.