Baton Rouge, La. — Building more resilient communities is the goal of the newly-created Louisiana Disaster Recovery Alliance (LDRA). This first-of-its-kind public-private partnership bringing Louisiana’s philanthropic community together with federal and state government partners to collaborate on innovative solutions to disaster recovery and resilience issues across the state.

Louisiana is no stranger to catastrophic disasters—Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill, and a vanishing coastline. The most recent events are the Great Floods of March and August 2016 and tornadoes in February 2017. These events have uprooted the lives of Louisiana’s residents and stretched the resources and capacity of communities. The LDRA recognizes the solutions of the past are not sufficient to meet the challenges of the future. For this reason, the LDRA is pleased to announce the creation of a Joint Fund for Recovery & Resilience, which will prioritize long-term, sustainable disaster recovery, resilience, and climate change adaptation models that address the needs of vulnerable communities in our state.

LDRA products include a donor’s guide to the 2016 Floods aimed at providing philanthropic organizations with information to better target assistance to non-profits involved in continued recovery efforts. Our resource guide to the 2016 Floods provides a view of non-profit resources available to support vulnerable populations and individual households with unmet needs. The LDRA is also working on the development of a GIS-based tool to identify populations with high social vulnerability and unmet needs in order to improve the targeting of non-profit disaster assistance.

Representing LDRA founding member organizations, elected officers include President Lori J. Bertman of the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, Vice President Flozell Daniels, Jr. of the Foundation for Louisiana, and Secretary/Treasurer Mark Stewart of The UPS Foundation. Other founding members of the LDRA include the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, The Patterson Foundation, the Community Foundation of North Louisiana, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) staff have been collaborative partners from the beginning with this consortium, as well as state government partners including the Office of the Governor of Louisiana, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, and the Division of Administration’s Office of Community Development-Disaster Recovery Unit. Public sector partners have agreed to work in concert with the philanthropic sector and to inform them about emerging needs and government investments in resilience and recovery, creating opportunities to leverage resources across sectors.

The LDRA will be announcing its first grant cycle in the near future. The organization is seeking additional philanthropic partners interested in joining the Alliance or supporting its work. Likeminded donors are encouraged to find out more about this effort by visiting the LDRA website at www.louisianarecoveryalliance.org, by sending an email to info@louisianarecoveryalliance.org, or by calling (225) 806-9109.