Convoy Of Hope Is In Louisiana Preparing To Help Victims Of Hurricane Ida
Convoy of Hope vehicles and staff members are in Louisiana getting ready to help in areas hardest hit by Hurricane Ida.
The organization’s spokesman, Ethan Forhetz, told KSMU that 19 Convoy of Hope vehicles, including tractor trailer trucks full of supplies and disaster relief emergency vehicles, set out for Shreveport, Louisiana from Springfield early Sunday. Monday morning, they were headed to the areas heavily impacted by the storm.
They wouldn’t know what to expect until they got closer to the disaster zone, according to Forhetz.
“We play it by ear, and we get in as far as we can go,” he said. “We’ve been in contact with churches and city officials and disaster people inside the disaster zone, so we have goals of where we’d like to be. Today may not be the day that we get there because of the roads being blocked off by trees and power lines and that sort of thing, but we’re going to get in as far as we can.”
Convoy of Hope will likely set up in a church parking lot and will have its own generators, showers, bathrooms, water, food and sleeping quarters.
The team members are ready with heavy equipment and chain saws to help clear debris, and they’ll be distributing supplies.
As they headed to Louisiana Sunday, one person approached the staff at a rest area and gave $100 to help with the relief effort, said Forhetz. A driver for Coca-Cola offered donations of drinks from his plant a mile away, which Convoy of Hope accepted. All of Convoy of Hope's vehicles are marked with the nonprofit's name, and people will honk and give drivers a thumbs up as the convoy travels down highways, according to Forhetz.
"People are incredibly friendly," he said. "They're incredibly generious, and they do really appreciate what Convoy of Hope does."
The response to Hurricane Ida will be "a very, very costly response," said Forhetz, and he said they'll stay as long as they're needed, which could be weeks. Additional supplies are available to be taken to the disaster area, and a group of people is ready to steop in and relieve those who are there now when they're ready for a break.
To donate to help with the relief effort following Hurricane Ida, visit convoyofhope.org or text the word, Ida, to 68828.