World Vision Remembers & Responds: How Hurricane Katrina Became the 'Game-changer' for Today's Hurricane Responses


Remembering Hurricane Katrina

On this 7-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, World Vision staff are remembering its impact while responding to the latest hurricane to pummel the Gulf coast. Hurricane Isaac made landfall earlier today causing flooding and bringing heavy rainfall and winds throughout the New Orleans area and other parts of Louisiana and Mississippi.

"World Vision is responding with emergency food kits, blankets, and other essential supplies but fortunately Hurricane Isaac isn't nearly as damaging as what we saw seven years ago," said Phyllis Freeman, World Vision’s Domestic Disaster Director. "Hurricane Katrina was so devastating that it not only forever impacted us as individuals but it changed the way our organization now responds to all domestic disasters here in the United States."

In 2005, the Christian humanitarian organization World Vision responded to Hurricane Katrina by opening a temporary 40,000-square-foot distribution center in Mississippi where $8.2 million in goods were distributed to more than 318,000 survivors. Freeman, a veteran aid worker, was among those with World Vision called upon to respond and says the organization's strategy to position its Domestic Disaster Headquarters in the Dallas-area near the Gulf coast was a direct result of the lessons learned from Katrina.

"Hurricane Katrina was really the game-changer for World Vision's domestic disaster strategy," said Freeman. "Last year, our organization chose to position our response team in a massive warehouse strategically positioned in the Dallas-area and close to the Gulf because now World Vision has thousands of pre-positioned relief supplies ready to deploy instantly. Katrina is why our response team is able to respond to Isaac as quickly as we can today."

As Hurricane Isaac continues to pass over the Gulf coast, World Vision has launched a multi-state disaster response effort targeting Louisiana and Mississippi survivors. The first wave of relief supplies will deploy from World Vision's Domestic Disaster Headquarters early Thursday morning for delivery to partnering churches and organizations most impacted.

"Throughout the three years after Hurricane Katrina, World Vision partnered with nearly 300 churches and organizations throughout the Gulf to effectively respond to families left essentially homeless," said Freeman. "We are confident our response to Isaac will be extremely impactful because we are teaming up with many of those same partners World Vision worked with years ago."


World Vision Deploys Supplies

Help now

Pray for children, families, and communities in the path of the storm. Pray that the damage would be minimal and that those impacted by the storm would find the help they require.

Make a one-time donation to our U.S. Disaster Response Fund. Your gift will help us respond quickly and effectively to emergencies right here in the United States, like Hurricane Isaac.