Resources for Businesses Affected by Louisiana Flooding
Since last week, 11 people have been killed and 40,000 homes damaged in what officials have described as some of the worst flooding ever to hit the state of Louisiana. Around 8,400 people remain in emergency shelters, days after the deluge began last Friday. Additionally, nearly 66,000 individuals have requested help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). According to FEMA officials, floods have rolled out at such a scale that scientists say they might be a once-every-500-or-1,000-year occurrence.
Quoted by CNN, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards called the widespread flooding spawned by the region's pounding rain across the southern part of the state a "truly historic event" that won't be over anytime soon.
In times of disaster, public-private sector collaboration is necessary to help communities recover and rebuild, as businesses and individuals begin to asses the short- and long-term damages. During disasters, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center (CCC) tracks private sector contributions given during the recovery effort. For the full list of aid given so far, access our Corporate Aid Tracker.
CCC also acts a resource for small businesses and chambers of commerce as they respond to the crisis. We encourage those organizations to reach out to the Disaster Help Desk, sponsored by the Office Depot Foundation. Since 2007, the Disaster Help Desk has provided small businesses, local chambers of commerce, and business-support organizations with simple and fast information about preparing for and surviving major disasters. The Help Desk coordinates information among businesses, local chambers of commerce, NGOs, government responders, and disaster recovery specialists.
If your business has experienced damages caused by flooding in the region, the Help Desk is here to help. To contact the Help Desk by phone, dial 888-MY BIZ HELP / 888-692-4943. Our team is also available via email. The mission of the Help Desk is to help businesses mitigate disaster interruption and, after disasters, to enhance community economic recovery. Contact the Help Desk if:
- You are in an impact area and want help with FEMA, SBA, and other assistance programs (or for international disasters, if you want help coordinating with U.S.-based NGOs and U.S. government aid agencies).
- You want information about recovery best practices.
- Your company wants to contribute to disaster response efforts and/or connect with chambers or businesses in an impact area to provide support.
For more information on the Help Desk, click here and don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or for help during this critical time.
Additional resources and steps small businesses and chambers of commerce can take to begin the recovery process can be found in our Disaster Preparedness and Response Quick Guides, sponsored by Shell. These Guides provide comprehensive strategies those affected by disasters such as this can use to minimize negative impacts.