Across the Southeast, hundreds of thousands of people are without power in the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia – a situation all too familiar to us. As the storm made landfall in Florida, something incredible was happening right here in New Orleans. Dozens of dedicated Together New Orleans volunteers were engaged in a simulated disaster scenario at the Broadmoor Community Church – the very first Community Lighthouse that opened this spring.
Community Lighthouse aims to equip 86 congregations and community institutions across the city with commercial-scale solar power and backup battery capacity. During extended power outages, these Lighthouses activate, assessing the needs of the community and offering a helping hand – from cooling and heating stations to device charging, food distribution, oxygen exchange, and even essential medical equipment.
Organizers held the training Wednesday during Broadmoor Community Church’s regularly scheduled food pantry to simulate an active scenario and test the system. Volunteers were told the details of the disaster scenario and given roles to play, and the simulation provided many valuable “lessons learned” that will inform the work of Lighthouses throughout the city and state.
Thanks to all the volunteers who are stepping up to help our neighbors – even in the face of nature’s fury. Together, we’re not just weathering the storm – we’re shining a light of resilience and unity.