Community Resilience Requires All of Us

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Hurricane Ida was a climate related disaster that will certainly take us a long time to recover. While our heart aches for what we lost in this storm and others like it in the past, we are enlightened by the glimmers of hope that emerge in the darkness. It is undeniable that when these moments strike there is no other option than for the entire community to pull together urgently to support each other.

Louisiana has a vibrant community of support, and everyone has something unique they bring to the table. The community turned to our emergency response teams for safety and shelter, our medical professionals for healthcare, our newsrooms for information, our policymakers for leadership, our non-profits for aid recovery, our Pastors for faith, and our neighbors, friends and family for emotional support. We all pulled together in this time of darkness to light the community.

At Greenfield, when the crisis hit, we knew our role in the community would be to provide food and fuel to those in need as quickly as possible. We called all over the region to find available fuel and water and get it to the community as fast as possible. Over the course of five days, Greenfield was able to provide 20,000 gallons of gas and more than 4,000 hot meals to those in need.

In the course of those days, in conversations with our neighbors it just became even more clear to me that business plays just as integral a role in the community as every other actor. The health of our communities is the measurement of our business success.

But responding to disaster is more than just working together to meet the immediate needs of the crisis at hand. Scientists predict that we will only see more of these storms in the future. We are certain that Louisiana will come together again in unity and faith as they always have in the past to overcome whatever might be faced. But our ability to respond to these storms or any other challenge that Louisiana might face comes to how prepared we can be as a community.

In the long-term, Louisiana’s resilience means balancing our energy, environmental, economic, food security and social equity needs to prepare for what comes next. It means making sure the needs of our most vulnerable are met. Businesses have a responsibility to ensure that the community is thriving—that means making sure we have clean air to breathe, access to healthy food, jobs, education, and economic mobility.

Maintaining that balance requires honest input from all stakeholders from business to community members to scientists and local officials—just the same as responding to the disaster takes everyone, so does preparing for one. It takes all of us working together to ensure we make the community stronger.

Just as we saw that dealing with short-term disasters like Hurricane Ida requires collaboration, we recognize that our biggest long-term challenges like food, energy, and environmental security requires input from the community too. At Greenfield Louisiana, we are eager to work as integral players in the community to address some of our greatest challenges ahead.

There is a long list of community members that deserve thanks for their commitment to helping us recover. It has not always been smooth or easy, but day-by-day we restore. The only way we will do it is by working together to put value into the community.

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