Between August 8th and 14th 2016, Louisiana was pummeled by over 6.9 trillion gallons of rain, in what is being called the "worst [disaster] to hit the United States since Superstorm Sandy" (Red Cross). So far, 13 people have been killed, over 20,000 rescued, 60,000 homes damaged or destroyed, and up to a total of 140,000 affected. 12 parishes out of the affected 20 have been declared disaster areas, and over 105,000 households have already registered with FEMA for assistance.
Drawing on 15 years of humanitarian responses in 38 countries, IsraAID will send a disaster response and relief team to the flood-affected areas around Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The goal is to join our US-based disaster response partner, provide immediate relief, and guide local communities in their efforts to clean out destroyed homes, as well as lay the groundwork for future rehabilitation and reconstruction initiatives.
This cleaning stage is crucial to avoid major health and hygiene issues from contaminated water, and open sewage. IsraAID will prioritize first responders who are aiding emergency efforts, those who do not have insurance or the financial means to clear the debris, and those who are unable to clean up their homes for any other number of physical/mental challenges. Time is of the essence, particularly for the children and elderly, with fears of long-term trauma settling in for those left homeless.