This year marked one of the worst hurricane seasons on record, destroying communities across the country. To put this in perspective, Hurricane Laura landed in Louisiana in August, but only a few weeks ago, the HBA of Southwest Louisiana (SWLA)'s
internet and phone service were fully restored. Thanks to the coordinated relief efforts of the HBA of Louisiana
and several HBAs across the state, NAHB members in southwest Louisiana received supplies and support.
"Our state and local associations across Louisiana jumped into action," said Krystle Blue, executive officer at SWLA.
With all of the stores closed or damaged from the storm, finding basic supplies within a one-hour radius of SWLA proved nearly impossible immediately after the storm. HBAs throughout Louisiana spent the next several weeks gathering supplies for SWLA members. A trailer full of flashlights, generators, cleaning supplies and other essential items were delivered to the HBA office. SWLA Board of Directors reached out to members and invited them to pick up any supplies they needed free of charge. The Acadian HBA
set up shop at SWLA's office to cook and distribute gumbo for members.
"With the help of the state and local associations, we were able to provide items for members and their families," said Blue. "It was cool to see what we are able to accomplish when we all work together and the value our association can provide to our members."
Several members, whose own houses and businesses were destroyed, showed up to the office to repair some of the building damage. NAHB's Disaster Relief Field Specialist Jonathan Falk was able to locate a generator and WiFi hot spot for the SWLA office.
SWLA also reached out to the community to educate them about the importance of working with a state-licensed contractor. A local television news station
interviewed Board President Wayne Fender and Blue about how to find and hire reputable contractors. The HBA also ran ads across multiple communication platforms. The outreach resulted in phone calls pouring in from the community to SWLA's office interested in working with members.
For more information or resources on disaster recovery, please visit NAHB's Disaster Recovery Toolkit
or contact Jonathan Falk, field specialist for disaster relief, at 800-386-5242 x8005.