The massive storm made landfall as a category 4, leaving much destruction throughout the state of Louisiana.

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Sixteen years to the day that Hurricane Katrina struck, the Gulf Coast was once again under assault from Mother Nature as Hurricane Ida made landfall as a category 4 storm Sunday. The damage is catastrophic and widespread across much of Louisiana and Gulf Coast region both from flooding and wind clocking over 100 MPH in many places. Our neighbors will need our help for some time to come. Much of the state is without power and running water but the helpers are already on the ground. Many nonprofit organizations that we are used to seeing respond to natural disasters were in place ahead of the storm and more are on the way to help the people of Louisiana. Southern Living will provide you with vetted organizations where you can safely donate to this vital relief work. We will add to the list as more groups mobilize.

Hurricane Ida Bears Down On Louisiana As A Major Storm
Credit: Scott Olson / Staff/Getty

The American Red Cross

600 volunteers from the American Red Cross are working in the region to provide immediate relief needs like shelter, food, and water.

Donate here.

International Medical Corps

The International Medical Corps has deployed to the region and will be providing healthcare, assisting in preventing further spread of COVID-19, and delivering vital supplies to those in need following this storm.

Donate here.

International Medical Corps

The International Medical Corps has deployed to the region and will be providing healthcare, assisting in preventing further spread of COVID-19, and delivering vital supplies to those in need following this storm.

Donate here.

Mercy Chefs

Mercy Chefs was founded by Louisiana native, Gary LeBlanc in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Now, 16 years later, LeBlanc and his chefs are back to serve the people of Louisiana by providing hot meals to those in need and the rescue workers who are heroically helping.

Donate to their efforts here.

Project HOPE

A team of medical personnel is on the ground in the region providing support where needed as well as distributing over 8,000 hygiene kits — which include items like shampoo, soap, a toothbrush, deodorant, washcloth, and a first-aid kit — as well as N95 masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

You can donate to their efforts here.

Operation BBQ Relief

The crew of BBQ pitmasters that make up the team of Operation BBQ Relief have also arrived in the area to serve hearty BBQ meals to first responders and community members alike.

Donate to their efforts here.

Salvation Army

When natural disasters strike, The Salvation Army is often one of the first, if not the first groups on the ground providing food, drinks, shelter and emotional and spiritual support.

Donate here.

Samaritan's Purse

The folks at Samaritan's Purse had a Disaster Relief Unit staged and ready to go in Alabama head of the storm and will move into the hardest hit communities in Louisiana as it becomes safe to do so. They will provide immediate assistance but also remain after the worst has passed to help communities rebuild.

Donate to their efforts  here.

United Way of Southeast Louisiana

The United Way is also on the ground to assist in immediate needs and shelter but with the help of donations will remain in the region to help families who have been greatly impacted by this storm and will need help for a while to come.

Donate to their efforts here.

World Central Kitchen

If you have been following Chef Jose Andres and his crew, they have been busy and all over the world. Chef Andres was in Haiti helping feed those in need after the devastating earthquake that struck that island nation earlier this month but he left Haiti and went directly to New Orleans to be on the ground before the storm hit. The WCK team was making sandwiches and ready to serve the shelters before Ida even made landfall.

Donate to their efforts here.

As Southerners often do, many in places not impacted by the storm have already jumped into help from where they are. Tankproof in Austin, Texas, has already started collecting donated items to be dropped off at Hotel San José in Austin which is housing many who've evacuated from Louisiana. They are also collecting monetary donations to further their ability to provide assistance.

We will continue to hold the people of Louisiana in our hearts and prayers as well as these brave first responders.