Hurricane Ida was coming.
It was one of the most powerful storms ever to make landfall in the United States, and one woman living near New Orleans — right where Ida was expected to hit — knew she had to do something.
Her husband’s elderly grandparents, as well as his uncle, who was dealing with health problems, evacuated their home to shelter with her family as landfall became imminent. Hurricanes cause damage and flooding, but the loss of power can be equally destructive, robbing people of vital resources that maintain our health and well-being. So, two days before the storm hit, her husband purchased a generator — a necessity they were able to afford thanks to a grant from her company’s emergency financial relief program.
When her home ultimately did lose power, that generator proved to be a lifeline.
Hurricane Ida hit on Aug. 29, 2021. The woman and her family lost power immediately, an outage that lasted for days. But with the generator, she and her family could keep the lights on, charge cell phones and power fans to stay cool. Her family stayed informed and healthy during a deeply challenging time.
“The grant allowed us to be comfortable in our house and monitor the news and any sort of updates we needed in order to stay safe before we ended up eventually evacuating after a few days, knowing that the roads were okay,” she said.
After the first two days without power, they took the generator to her in-laws’ home, which was battered by high winds and had received roof damage. The generator gave them some normalcy and kept everyone in good spirits. It also allowed her to keep focused on what matters most — the health of her loved ones and having a safe place to call home.
“Home is a special place, and it is where you live your life with the people you love. You just want to get it back to 100%,” she said.
Emergency financial relief grants offer hope
The storm was a disaster, but it also served as an example of people’s ability to come together in times of crisis. Thousands of dollars were donated to help survivors, and hundreds of people volunteered to help with cleanup and housing. In the month of August alone, E4E Relief awarded $3.2 million in grants to over 3,700 people who were affected by the hurricane, one of our largest natural disaster responses in several years. While this certainly speaks to the severity of the event, it also shows the good that comes when companiesare ready to help their people the moment disasters strike.
Because those companies made the commitment to care for employees outside of the office, 3,700 people were able to get help in what was likely one of the most challenging moments of their lives. 3,700 people were able to get access to food, transportation, temporary housing, generators and more — all thanks to the generosity of their coworkers and the foresight of their employers.
At E4E Relief, we are happy to know and work with companies who care about their people and are creating ways to get them help during times of need. It has been our privilege to partner with them.