Local organizations bringing relief efforts to Hurricane Laura victims

Although Hurricane Laura didn’t devastate the Mississippi Gulf Coast that doesn’t mean Coast residents are forgetting about those who bore the brunt of the storm.

Hurricane Laura victims will soon be seeing a lot of Mississippians as local Gulf Coast organizations including the Biloxi Fire Department, the First Responders Mutual Aid Relief Team, Mississippi Power, and many others are mobilizing to areas impacted by the category four storm.

Wednesday afternoon, Deputy Chief Nick Geiser and firefighters Cameron Whiteside and Chuck Parker from the Biloxi Fire Department set out for Baton Rouge to begin staging relief efforts.

Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney said “The governor of Louisiana has requested this through our governor and so we send a team. We can send a team as large as 80 firefighters at a time. I do not know how many firefighters are going with this group, but we have three going and there will be some others from the Coast going as well. It’s just a great joy to be able to help people and really help people in need.”

While first responders head to disaster areas, First Responders Mutual Aid Relief member Jourdan Hartshorn is helping make sure those who are bringing aid to Hurricane Laura victims are also taken care of. “First responders, right now, are doing search and rescue. They’re focused on protecting the people, while we want to supply a hot meal to those same people because right now they’re worried about feeding the people. And we need to be there to feed them and make sure they get a hot meal when it’s their break, when they come in, they can drive their car through, that kind of stuff. So it’s pretty cool because for the next couple days, they’re not going to be worried about a hot meal.”

Mississippi Power is sending out a storm team of about 80 employees to Baton Rouge Friday morning to aid in hurricane restoration efforts.

The Southeast Mississippi American Red Cross chapter is also geared up and ready to head to Louisiana as soon as it is safe to do so. Two emergency response vehicles are already packed and waiting to be dispatched. Those vehicles are loaded with bottled water, snacks, personal supplies, comfort kits, and personal hygiene items.

However relief and aid from Gulf Coast communities isn’t only about supplies and rescuing. It’s about morale. “Part of our mission is not just for helping to clean up, but to let them know we’ve been there. We’ve been through hurricanes. We’ve been through Katrina. We’ve been through a lot of hurricanes. But we come back, better and stronger. And they can, too. It’s just going to take time.”

The Biloxi Fire Department is asking for monetary donations to fund its Biloxi Fire Museum 2020 Relief Trip to bring additional aid and assistance to Hurricane Laura victims. You can donate by clicking here.

First Responders Mutual Aid Relief Team is also asking for monetary donations in order hot meals to first responders. You can donate by clicking here.

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