One of the most damaging natural disasters in the history of the United States occurred when Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast just before sunrise August 29, creating loss of life and massive destruction of homes and businesses. Hurricane Katrina, a category 5 storm, hit land just east of New Orleans, Louisiana, before moving farther inland. Millions are affected throughout Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Christian organizations have been mobilizing forces, providing meals and supplies to millions who have lost everything in the wake of this storm. Although the number is uncertain (as of 9/1/05), thousands are thought to have died due to the hurricane, subsequent flooding and other causes. Several denominations and ministries such as the Salvation Army, Southern Baptist Convention and Operation Blessing have stepped in to help, many as part of the Christian Emergency Network (CEN). CEN was established after September 11, 2001, by several Mission America Coalition partners (the Mission America Coalition is the U.S. Lausanne Committee) to respond effectively in a national crisis, giving the hope of Jesus Christ.