DORAL, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida organization is rushing to send help to the hardest-hit areas of Louisiana after Hurricane Ida.
In Doral, Global Empowerment Mission spent Monday morning loading a truck full of supplies to deliver to the state.
Approximately 1,000 boxes filled with non-perishable food, hygiene kits and COVID protective gear were packed into the back of the truck.
By noon, the truck was already on its way to Louisiana, where help is desperately needed in the wake of the powerful storm.
Each of the boxes can help a family of five.
Michael Capponi, the founder of Global Empowerment Mission, is behind the relief effort and has already received messages from those in need.
“People saying that they’re terrified, that they couldn’t evacuate because they’re in a building, and everybody there is in wheelchairs, and the hospital across the street is overwhelmed, and they’re terrified,” he said. “They’ve been texting us throughout the night. We’ve lost communication with a lot of people because there’s no more power now, no more internet, so that’s why we gotta get out there.”
While some relief is on the way, the best of South Florida’s first responders are already on the ground, responding to calls in hard-hit areas.
Forty-five members of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue were deployed ahead of the storm to support rescue operation efforts.
About 80 members of City of Miami Fire Rescue were deployed to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where Florida Task Force 2 is staged.
“We have our teams that are ready, especially our swift water teams, because we’re seeing a lot of damage as a result of a lot of the rain and even with some storm surges,” said City of Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll, “so we’re going to see a swift water rescue component by way of boats and high water vehicles. That’s going to be our first priority mission.”
The help will continue in the coming days and weeks.
“The dispatch team and all the drivers, they’re all ready to support,” said a GEM organizer.
“We have our base camps set up where it can be, right? It’s all moving targets. Then we’ll have more trucks coming and outflow,” said Capponi.
It’s not just nonprofits who are helping Gulf Coast residents. About 1,000 Florida Power and Light employees are helping restore electricity in the area.
A second truck filled with supplies is expected to leave GEM’s Doral warehouse on Tuesday.
To donate supplies or money to Global Empowerment Mission, click here.
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