KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
August 31, 2021
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy first responders are in Louisiana repaying the favor for when our neighbors rushed to offer help after Hurricane Harvey. Many organizations are accepting donations to help victims of Hurricane Ida that hit the Pelican State on Sunday.
Katy first responders are now in Baton Rouge. Photo courtesy: HCESD 48
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
“We had Louisiana fire engines come to our station during Harvey,” says Lt. Zack LaBonte with Harris County ESD 48 Fire Department. “We had been on duty for 7 days and it was such a relief to have help.”
Lt. LaBonte is part of a Katy crew that deployed yesterday to Baton Rouge to help relieve overwhelmed stations.
“We’re coming in so they can take a break and have time to take care of their own families and homes that have been destroyed,” says Lt. LaBonte.
The crew was assembled as part of a Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) deployment to assist with recovery efforts in Louisiana. This Strike Team is made up of firefighters from Houston, Baytown, Galveston, and Conroe Fire Departments. They are expected to be deployed for up to 16 days.
“We want to wish all First Responders safe travels and keep all Louisianans are in our thoughts,” says Jason Tharp, division Chief of Community Risk Reduction/PIO at Harris County ESD Fire Department.
It’s not clear what the crew will do in Baton Rouge. Assignments could range from search and rescue to whatever filling the station’s needs entails.
Photo courtesy: Supply Bridge Ministries
How You Can Help
There are ways that Katy residents can help support the victims of Hurricane Ida.
Supply Bridge Ministries
Katy based nonprofit, Supply Bridge Ministries will be accepting donations today, August 31 at First Christian Church Katy (22101 Morton Ranch Road.)
They are accepting non-perishable items such as water, canned goods, can openers, sleeping bags, cots, paper towels, baby diapers, wipes, and formula.
“Together let’s continue to show the world what it’s like to be a community helping community,” says Supply Bridge Ministries founder, Nicholas Doherty.
Follow them on Facebook for more information.
Kroger stores, including those here in Katy are donating bags of non-perishables to Hurricane Ida victims.
Customers can donate a bag of already assembled staples at checkout for $6. The bag includes tuna, peanut butter, oatmeal and apple juice.
Houston Food Bank
Houston Food Bank is seeking volunteers to help put together more disaster relief boxes. You can sign up to help as an individual or a group. Click here for information and to sign up.
Many local churches are also accepting donations for Louisiana.
Hurricane Ida struck Louisiana Sunday afternoon as a powerful category 4 storm. The residents of Louisiana were quick to offer their aid and prayers when Katy and its surrounding areas suffered during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
“Their resources are stretching thin,” says Lt. LaBonte. “It’s helpful for us to lend a hand or give them a break. If not, they are on their own.”