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Monday, September 19, 2005

Katrina Myths: Reflections on My Trip to New Orleans

I’ll post more later, but for now----Do not send money to the Red Cross!

Send it to the Salvation Army.

My highest recommendation is to the following organization—They are great folks and they are helping the poor in New Orleans NOW. And they don’t require you to dial an 800 number that NO ONE IS ANSWERING!----Common Ground
Make a personal donation to Don Elbourne, pastor of Lakeshore Baptist Church:
Pastor Don A Elbourne Jr
1451 Great Oak
Baton Rouge,LA 70810

You can make a direct donation through--His Website
I know there are a lot of scams out there, but trust me on this one. Don is one of the most caring guys I know.

Myth #1-FEMA was slow to respond in the beginning, but they are doing a good job now. NO! It took a great deal of prayer for me to keep from “flipping off” a FEMA truck that I passed on my way out of New Orleans.

On Friday (I think) of last week I was in St Charles Parish and I saw a long line of people. I stopped to see what was going on. I asked a lady with two little kids what the line was for. She said she was waiting for FEMA assistance. Dumb, insensitive me said, “The internet is a lot faster. I’ve already received my check.” She gave me an exasperated look and said, “I don’t have the internet.” OOOPS. She said that she had been in line for eight hours. You can’t really understand how horrible that is. The heat index was well over a 100 I would guess. Her kids were soaking wet with sweat, exhausted and cranky. I went to my van and gave them candy, cokes and water. People in line asked me if I had any more to share. I emptied my van of all of my supplies. I also had two cases of water that had not been iced down. The people were so hot that they gladly took the warm water. I prayed for those folks as I drove away and cursed FEMA for opening up a place with (from what I was told) only four people to process claims.

4 Comments:

At 7:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 7:34 PM, Blogger joe kennedy said...

howie, so you don't get comment spammed, like you did twice before me, turn on the word verification tool. seriously.

and dude, i hate that fema isn't doing a good job. it's pretty much an organization that gets contractors to go do work. i'm wondering if it's fema or the contractors that are slacking. maybe both.

my big thing is the local government. there's been so much blame of bush, but really, there's more to it than that. aid doesn't just show up overnight. they have to be called up, just like everybody else. junk happens, and ya gotta be ready, but if you're coming from across the country, it takes a while. in the past, the fema contractors pulled from across the south. but this storm was so huge, it ripped everything from new orleans to mobile and well north all the way to jackson. that's a lot of workers stuck trying to clean up their own messes. i know a LOT of people left mobile last year to go to florida, then got stuck and we had shortages on supplies when ivan hit here. we'd sent all our supplies down to florida.

so man, i really don't know. i'm not smart enough to really come up with a feasable and valid fix to all this. i just know people ARE trying, but people are few. especially people trained to ask the right questions and do the right things. i wish i had more to help, rather than just be upset. i guess that's why i'm going to covington from wed. to wed. and it looks like i'll be working security for nobts too. so, i guess i am trying to do something. take care bro.

 
At 2:44 PM, Blogger Marty said...

Howie,

The government incompetence is mindboggling. If you were a Katrina victim running low on personal funds and not in a shelter, you were led on wild goose chases for "assistance". Red Cross, FEMA, United Way equally share in this nightmare. Working with the victims has been a eye opener for me. I always knew our government was in sad shape, I just didn't know to what extent until now. Rita is heading our way and so our shelter has been forced to close to move the evacuees to safer ground. It's a cryin' shame. They are being herded around like cattle.

 

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