Ed Note: This story is part of Gambit’s “Climate of Change” series on climate change and labor in partnership with the Solutions Journalism Network.
In the days leading up to Hurricane Ida’s landfall at the end of August 2021 and for weeks afterward, the Mutual Aid – New Orleans Facebook group buzzed with activity.
There were people asking for help with financial assistance — for things like getting gas or renting a hotel room — and seeking advice on how to navigate federal assistance programs. Others came looking for help dealing with Entergy or a hand clearing some debris from their yard.
More often than not, what they found were just as many users freely offering whatever help they could give: ice delivery, food and supplies from out of town, fundraising for devastated communities along the coast and in the Bayou Parishes.
As the days and weeks crawled by, Mutual