News Brief

How Mastercard is helping the Gulf Coast recover from Hurricane Ida

September 1, 2021 | By Vicki Hyman

Hurricane Ida crashed into the Louisiana coast Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane, killing at least four people, forcing the rescue of hundreds trapped by floodwaters and leaving more than a million people without power in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Though New Orleans escaped the catastrophic flooding seen during Hurricane Katrina, which breached the city’s levees and killed nearly 2,000 people in 2005, Ida’s storm surge swamped smaller cities and towns in southeastern Louisiana, causing widespread damage. The impact of Ida is still being felt across the eastern U.S., with the weakened system dumping inches of rain and triggering flash flood alerts from Tennessee to New England.

Mastercard is donating $200,000 to the American Red Cross to be used for recovery efforts for Hurricane Ida and wildfires in California, as well as resettlement work across the U.S. for refugees from Afghanistan. This funding is in addition to Mastercard’s commitment earlier this year to provide the Red Cross with $250,000 to support its general disaster recovery efforts and our employee disaster relief training. Mastercard will be deploying ten employees, all trained disaster responders, to support to recovery efforts in Louisiana.

You can donate to the Red Cross here.

With a major transmission tower just west of New Orleans knocked out by winds and high-voltage lines sunk in the Mississippi River, many residents and businesses could be without electricity and cell phone service potentially for weeks.

Mastercard is committed to harnessing its network, technology, insights and know-how to solve social and humanitarian challenges like these.

For example, Mastercard is using its payments network to identify which merchants from specific categories – like home improvement stores and supermarkets – are still open. It then shares that information to help Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster planning and recovery work.

This store data also powers ShopOpenings.com, a retail search tool that can help residents with internet access find which stores and businesses are open in their communities. It is continually updated, so as more businesses, from pharmacies to restaurants, come online, their local communities can support them and buy the supplies they need. Shop owners don’t need to register to take part.

“Our thoughts are with those who have endured significant loss during this already trying time,” says Linda Kirkpatrick, Mastercard’s president for North America. “Mastercard is committed to using its technology, products and resources to support ongoing recovery efforts in a sustainable way.”