01 September 2005

Hurricane Relief

Gas prices have jumped in the last few days. That's pretty much it for how Katerina affected my life.

Others were more significantly impacted. Here's what the city of New Orleans has to look forward to:
"  First they have to pump the flooded city dry, and that will take a minimum of 30 days. Then they will have to flush the drinking water system, making sure they don't recycle the contaminants. Figure another month for that.
  The electricians will have to watch out for snakes in the water, wild animals and feral dogs. It will be a good idea to wear hip boots and take care of cuts and scrapes before the toxic slush turns them into festering sores. The power grid might be up in a few weeks, but many months will elapse before everybody's lights come back on.
  By that time, a lot of people won't care because they will have taken the insurance money and moved away — forever. Home rebuilding, as opposed to repairs, won't start for a year and will last for years after that.
  Even then, there may be nothing normal about New Orleans, because the floodwater, spiked with tons of contaminants ranging from heavy metals and hydrocarbons to industrial waste, human feces and the decayed remains of humans and animals, will linger nearby in the Gulf of Mexico for a decade."  (from The Washington Post)

Here's an interview with a New Orleans resident who chose to remain in town with his wife, an oncology nurse who stayed her post rather than head for higher ground.

The population of New Orleans is 1,337,726 with about 484,674 in the city proper.

And that's just New Orleans. The hurricane came ashore across the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama, and into the Florida Panhandle as well.

Millions of Americans will need help for a long time.

Please do what you can.

I donated to Mercy Corps. And I'm planning to make a family project out of putting together some relief kits as described here over the weekend.

Other ideas:
Soldiers' Angels - relief effort targeted at families of servicepeople in the area.
American Red Cross
Feed the Children.
Salvation Army
Canal Street Presbyterian Church - this is church in New Orleans
Brett Favre is collecting materials to help with the clean up.

FEMA has published a list of recommended organizations here

Be aware that there are, of course, people looking to take advantage of this situation, so use a bit of caution if you're inclined to donate to other organizations. Many certainly are legitimate, but many are not.

thanks for your time,

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