In light of the devastating flooding in Louisiana, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has created the Louisiana Flood Disaster 2016 Fund to support affected communities, the victims and their ongoing needs.

Grants from the Fund will be made via the Baton Rouge Area Foundation to nonprofits addressing needs in the impacted communities.

Created in 1964, the Baton Rouge Area Foundation — the area’s equivalent of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee — is providing assistance across South Louisiana where it can.

The organization’s history — Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath being the most notable example — has shown it can get money quickly to where it’s needed the most, according to the Foundation’s website.

Among its initiatives is the Louisiana Relief Fund. Others are employee assistant funds, in which employers can assist their own employees and receive tax deductions for contributions.

The Foundation also is working with area nonprofits responding to the flood as well as with sheltering organizations.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency in the wake of torrential rains that have left at least 13 people dead, have displaced thousands of residents and have damaged at least 40,000 residences.

A slow-moving weather system earlier this week dumped as much as two feet of rain in 48 hours.

At least 20 parishes have been declared federal disaster areas, The Times-Picayune in New Orleans reported.

According to The Associated Press, the state estimated about 4,000 people remained in shelters Thursday as more people have found temporary housing with family and friends or returned to stay in their homes as they repaired them.

Ties are plentiful between southern Louisiana and Middle Tennessee, particularly in times of disaster and disaster relief, including Katrina and the devastating Tennessee floods of May 2010.

This week, superstar pop singer and part-time Nashvillian Taylor Swift announced she has donated $1 million toward the Louisiana flood relief efforts.

“We began The 1989 World Tour in Louisiana, and the wonderful fans there made us feel completely at home,” Swift said in a statement to CNN. “The fact that so many people in Louisiana have been forced out of their homes this week is heartbreaking. I encourage those who can to help out and send your love and prayers their way during this devastating time.”

The Community Foundation has been involved in disaster response funding for more than a decade, when a tsunami slammed ashore in Southeast Asia. That was followed by Hurricane Katrina hit the New Orleans area and the Gulf Coast in 2007, tornadoes sweeping through Middle Tennessee in 2008, and then the historic Tennessee flooding in 2010 that resulted in 21 deaths across the state and $2 billion in damages to private property in the Nashville area alone.

Through collaborative work through many local organizations and entities of government, a plan was outlined that resulted in The Community Foundation establishing the Metro Nashville Disaster Response Fund in 2002. It has since become an integrated part of Nashville official disaster manual created by the Office of Emergency Management and has been designated by the city of Nashville as the central repository for giving at the time of disaster.

To give to the Louisiana Flood Disaster 2016 Fund, visit: www.cfmt.org.

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