At least one person was killed as Hurricane Laura moved ashore in Louisiana early Thursday and dozens of homes in the Lake Charles area were damaged by the Category 4 storm.
Those early damage estimates painted a grim picture of what residents along the Louisiana-Texas border might be facing in the aftermath of the storm.
Assistance groups were still trying to make their way into the affected areas early Thursday but the American Red Cross already had some tips available for those who want to help.
Here are some ways you can help:
Red Cross is seeking donations and volunteers
The most direct way to help victims through the Red Cross is by:
- Donating at redcross.org
- Calling 800-RED-CROSS
- Texting LAURA to 90999 to make a $10 donation
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the American Red Cross to make some new rules about donations. The organization cannot accept donations of:
- Supplies, including hygiene items
- Any other ‘in-kind’ items
Those items will be dumped in order to keep shelters safe, according to the Red Cross.
GET THE LATEST: Updates on Hurricane Laura as storm moves inland Thursday
The Cajun Navy is seeking donations and supplies
The Cajun Navy is a non-profit citizen-led organization dedicated to saving lives during natural disasters. Teams have boots on the ground all over the U.S. Gulf coast to help rescue those affected by Hurricane Laura.
Information is available on the Cajun Navy’s website to request or donate supplies and donate financially, as well as sign up to be a volunteer. The Cajun Navy is in immediate need of PPE, water, ice, non-perishable food, gasoline gift cards, clothing, cleaning supplies, kids’ toys and generators.
CAJUN NAVY: After Hurricane Laura, Louisiana ‘is in trouble and will need help’
The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has 17 neighborhood donor centers across Texas looking for eligible donors to schedule an appointment to give blood to help the community.
The Baytown and Clear Lake Donor Centers will be closed on Wednesday, Aug. 26, due to Hurricane Laura weather impacts. All other Greater Houston Area centers will close at 2 p.m.
For a list of locations and hours to donate, visit giveblood.org.
Donate to GlobalGiving’s Hurricane Laura Relief Fund
GlobalGiving, a crowdfunding community, has started a disaster relief fund to provide those in need with food, water and medicine. The fund will also support communities and first responders affected by Hurricane Laura.
The organization has a goal of $3 million and is now accepting donations.
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Help children in need with the Save the Children’s emergency relief fund
Save the Children is a national response agency that puts children at the center of its efforts. The Children’s Emergency Relief Fund will help support the urgent needs of children and families impacted by Hurricane Laura.
For more information and how to donate, visit savethechildren.org.
The Lakewood Church is seeking supplies
For the next three days, the Lakewood Church will be collecting supplies to fill up trucks to send to east Texas and Louisiana after Hurricane Laura.
They are looking for bottled water, baby wipes, formula and diapers.
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Project HOPE is seeking donations and medical volunteers
Project HOPE, a global humanitarian organization, has deployed an emergency response team to the Louisiana-Texas coastline to provide relief for those affected by Hurricane Laura.
“Project HOPE is working to provide relief to families affected by the storm and is also scaling up support for hard-hit community health systems, many of which are likely to see a spike in COVID-19 cases in the days to come,” a spokesperson for the organization said.
Physicians, nurses and other medical providers who are interested in being part of the response team can apply here. Project HOPE is also accepting donations.
JJ Hensley and Daniella Medina are digital producers for the USA TODAY Network. You can reach them at JHensley@tennessean.com or email@example.com.