Following Hurricane Ida and the public health emergencies declared last week, people in New Orleans and the surrounding areas suddenly lost access to basic needs.
One of the greatest demands was for food, and grocery delivery workers found themselves working long shifts made more cumbersome by the lack of gasoline at fuel stations.
Booster in partnership with an international grocer deployed its team to New Orleans to help aid food delivery workers responding to food distribution needs brought about by the hurricane.
For the past two weeks, power and gas station outages added challenges to relief and recovery efforts throughout the Gulf and East Coasts. Following Ida, about two-thirds of gas stations in Baton Rouge and New Orleans were without fuel, leading to cars lined up for miles at the rare filling stations that had both electricity and gas. In addition, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards reported that fuel shortages were impacting their recovery efforts, including mobilizing first responders, getting residents out of devastated areas, and transporting food to affected communities.
We expect gas shortages when states of emergency are declared. When fuel demand spikes, particularly when that spike is caused by infrastructure disruptions, traditional fuel supply chains can’t respond fast enough. Lack of fuel often exacerbates already challenging relief and recovery efforts, such as delivering food. In times such as these, mobile fueling is a necessary solution for communities.
At Booster, one of our key values is to “do the right thing.” Although we do not currently operate in Louisiana, supporting relief efforts is important to living out that value. This is not our first time deploying operations staff to support similar relief endeavors - we’ve done that following Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Hurricane Laura in Louisiana's Lake Charles community, in the aftermath of last year’s Nashville tornado, and during the 2019 California rolling blackouts.