HDR Deployment: Louisiana 2017

2017 witnessed the second deployment of FBB’s Humanist Disaster Recovery (HDR) Teams program. To support this program, please donate here.

In August of 2016, as much as 31.39 inches of rain fell in and around the Denham Springs area of Louisiana. 90% of Denham Springs residents were affected, 85% of which did not have flood insurance, as Denham Springs was not considered to be in a floodplain. A class action lawsuit has been filed by the cities of Denham Springs and Walker, Louisiana, blaming a 19-mile concrete barrier built along Interstate-12 to divide the Eastbound and Westbound lanes for the destruction of their cities.


Louisiana Flooding
Photo Credit: Patrick Dennis/The Advocate, via Associated Press


In what has been called the worst natural disaster to hit the United States since Superstorm Sandy, 13 people lost their lives, and 8.7 billion dollars in damage was left behind. Foundation Beyond Belief launched an HDR Drive that raised more than $13,000 for our secular beneficiary, All Hands Volunteers (AHV) and began to prepare for our second deployment.

Partnered with secular organization, All Hands Volunteers, HDR Teams deployed 23 volunteers from and contributed 648 hours of service providing $14,754.96 worth of donated time to the affected region. Volunteers worked on tiling, mold remediation, drywall installation, mudding, and texturing homes in the area.

Russell Glasser and Phil Session of the Atheist Community of Austin volunteered during this deployment and hosted The Atheist Experience episode 21.22 with guest HDR Coordinator, Rebecca Vitsmun. They shared stories about their experiences and talked about positive Bridging the Gap moments. Watch it on their YouTube channel: http://bit.ly/1jv1dG9

HDR Teams is an evidence-based program, and as such, grows very carefully as tested through volunteer experiences on the ground. During this first deployment, volunteers not only contributed their time toward recovery efforts, but also took part in nightly meetings to assist in shaping the future of HDR Teams.


Denham Springs, Louisiana

Dates of Deployment:

May 27th, 2017 – June 6th, 2017

Type of Disaster:



All Hands Volunteers

Number of volunteers:


Number of hours donated:


Help Make Team Deployments Possible

Here’s how you can help:

  • Donate money to help fund our team deployments.
  • Volunteer as part of an HDR Team!

The more funds we raise, the more teams we can deploy in different areas of need.