There are many things to be proud of our state, but it is moments like now when our state is in need that our community rallies in ways that impress me every time.
Through social media, we are able to see the face of the flood. We are able to see individuals’ photos of flooded bedrooms, heroic saves and searches for loved ones. The heartbreak and the ugly with any natural disaster is there. But it is the face of the people of Louisiana that I love. It is the face of helpers seeking to make a difference. It is people giving selflessly. People opening their homes and opening their hearts.
In this state, there are things we do well. Food, festivals, football and floods are the “f’s” that are ingrained into our communities and our souls. As New Orleanians, we know just how a flood of this magnitude affects you to the core. We all remember the way Baton Rouge opened their doors and took us in in our time of need, and now it is time for us to return the favor.
It is overwhelming to see the convoys of trucks towing boats into unknown circumstances. These are our family members and our coworkers volunteering their time and their services because they want to help. And our neighbors in Baton Rouge, they NEED the help. No one asked any questions and no one forced them to go. They simply loaded up the car and headed to help. There are lives that need to be saved. It doesn’t matter who their presidential candidate of choice is, what their skin color is, or if they are LSU fans. Help is needed and fellow Louisianians are on their way.
Lists of needed items needed for shelters are being circulated. People are being taken into homes. And, text chains are underway to help gather supplies from family to family. It is familiar. We have done it before. And, we are happy to help our neighbors.
It is hard to say that we are better prepared this time, because this is never something you can truly prepare for. But technology matched with experience and understanding is proving to be an asset. There are some things that are eerily the same … like the fact that water rises FAST and cell phones will fail us.
Many will say it is that “it is just stuff and it can be replaced.” But as those who have been there, we know the experience of being flooded out is more about loss. You mourn your home — your safe place, your family’s sanctuary – not so much the stuff. More of what the collective stuff makes up. We have been in your shoes and have waded through the emotional storm that it is to follow. To our neighbors in Baton Rouge, we understand and we feel for you.
Come hell or high water, this is our state and we will rise from the waters … again. Sending NOLA love to you, Baton Rouge!