In 2009 we developed a school-based youth outreach program called EvacuKids. This six-week curriculum targets low-income youth from ages 8 to 11 with emergency preparedness and evacuation resources, coastal science, and the tools necessary to build resiliency and develop agency through a trauma-based lens.
Immediately after the Southeast Louisiana flood events of August 2016, we deployed volunteers to assist with disaster response tasks including debris clean-up, home gutting, and case management. Following the tornadoes that struck New Orleans East this February, we served as the Louisiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (LA-VOAD) liaison for the New Orleans region. We also deployed volunteers to serve at the emergency food distribution point in Joe Brown Park.
Throughout the year we give emergency preparedness presentations at community centers, senior centers and churches; we table at health fairs, festivals and community events; we canvass neighborhoods with City-Assisted Evacuation (CAE) information; and provide supplementary training for our Evacuteers to encourage their ongoing education and development of best practices in the immense task of facilitating CAE. We are a dedicated staff of 2, a volunteer force of over 500, and the only nonprofit agency in New Orleans that dedicates resources to advocate for hurricane preparedness and disaster resiliency in our community year-round!
"I just wanted to say thank you. Your volunteers helped my mother on Sunday and Monday of this week to gut most of her home in Baton Rouge. It was overwhelming when we first saw the house on Saturday. We started picking up and throwing out. On Sunday morning, during my prayers, I prayed for help because I knew that my Mom and I could not do this on our own. I then headed to the house began taking my time doing what I can. Your volunteers were across the street assisting our neighbor and came over and started helping us. I was surprised to hear from you on Monday and to learn that a crew was coming over to help. They were amazing! The house is almost completed and if you had told me on Saturday that we would be where we are now with the progress we have made, I would not have believed you. So thank you. Thank you."