LAKE CHARLES, La- The Cajun Navy has rescued over 500 families and served over 50,000 meals in Southwest Louisiana to victims affected by Hurricanes Laura and Delta. Nearly three months after the initial disasters, the Cajun Navy remains on site in Lake Charles to provide meals, coordinate cleanup efforts, and provide resources and materials for residents.
The Cajun Navy is a mobile and social movement that crowdsources disasters through technology. Through the Cajun Navy Ground Force smartphone application, victims can request help, and interested individuals can sign up to volunteer. Donations, supplies, and volunteers are still needed and accepted.
“The Cajun Navy is not really about guys in boats. We’ve had floods and good ole boys with boats for 6,000 years, but these survivors need more,” explains Rob Gaudet, Founder and Director at Cajun Navy.
“It’s easy to show up the week of a disaster, rescue a few people, and leave. And it’s great to see the support, but that’s not all that the Cajun Navy is about. We were here when it happened, and we are here to stay.”
In 2005, 1,800 people died during Hurricane Katrina who could not be rescued by the overwhelmed First Responders. The same thing would have happened in 2016 with the Louisiana Flooding if not for new technology. With the power of social media and smartphones, those who were struggling were able to request help. The Cajun Navy was then formed to answer these requests and provide relief.
While disaster management still tends to lag behind trends in technologies, the Cajun Navy is leading the way to develop a more efficient model for helping communities devasted by natural disaster.
To request help, visit crowdrelief-forms.nogginoca.com/.
To make a monetary donation, visit cajunrelief.org/donate.
To volunteer, visit cajunrelief.org or download the Cajun Navy Ground Force App.
The following supplies are accepted at 710 Ryan Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601:
3-4 person tent
Diapers (Sizes: Newborn-6 years old)