NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Louisianans know what it’s like to experience the kind of devastation those in the Northern Bahamas feel right now -- just one reason they’re volunteering their time and resources to helping those Dorian already affected, as well as those who may be affected as the hurricane continues its path of destruction.
Shawn Boudreaux and Cajun Navy Relief volunteers are in a holding pattern at the Florida-Alabama line, waiting to see what, if any areas will need assistance once Dorian makes landfall.
“It’s hard to sit here outside of it and not be there,” Boudreaux said. “We need to see what the needs are before we charge in."
But Boudreaux said and he and his team are still being productive.
"We're not just sitting here doing nothing. We have a lot of things we can continue to work on to arrange for logistics and supply-type operations that would line up things to go to the Bahamas, for instance," Boudreaux explained.
New Orleans locals like businessman Sidney Torres are also pitching in focused, primarily, on medical supplies.
“We’re looking to work with a hospital or hospitals to build triages so, basically, to where a forklift can pick it up out of the plane and go,” Torres said.
Torres said he’s in communication with leaders in the Bahamas who are in dire need of medical supplies, like antibiotics and insulin. Already, LCMC Health and their five hospitals, as well as Ochsner Health system said they’re coordinating with Torres to provide necessary supplies. So are folks like David Wills with United Medical Providers.
“I think merely the fact that I lived through Katrina and I had to rebuild. It touches my heart,” Wills said.
Wills said he knows what those in the Bahamas are going through and is trying garner support from his contacts.
“There are no guarantees, but all I can do is reach out to people and say, ‘please help. Do what you can,’” Wills explained.
Meanwhile, Boudreaux continues to prepare to be a pathfinder, setting up inroads for other volunteer teams in areas hit the hardest.
"We are stocked up and ready to bring this thing in and feed as big of a crew as we can possibly put together," Boudreaux said.
If you’re looking for ways to donate medical supplies, boats or generators, you can contact Sidney Torres on his Facebook page, here.