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Sadly, there's very little that most of us can do. But I recommend that rather than do nothing, you can make a donation to the American Red Cross as I did. (Please be patient; the link may take some time to load because they are very busy). They are on the ground directly helping victims and are best able to bring their resources to bear on the problem.

Other suggestions are most welcome.

Katrina : What Can I Do? | 7 comments | Create New Account
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Craig B - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#127171) #
I am absolutely heartbroken by what is going on. The flooding itself, while unquestionably tragic, is only the tip of the iceberg. What's more disturbing is the complete breakdown of civil order. This story illustrates some of what I mean.

It would be nice if this disaster, once its full story is told, can cause each of us to look within ourselves to what we can do to rebuild our own society in a way that enables us to look each other in the eye.

I am amazed at the difference between New Orleans's distubring, apocalyptic freakout and the vastly different reactions of peoples hit by this winter's tsunami, or even (to a lesser degree, obviously) Montrealers during the Ice Storm of the 1998 New Year (I was there).

Believe me, I know not everyone has the cash to spare to make donations to the Red Cross. Just please, please promise yourself that you will do something, when you can.

3RunHomer - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#127177) #
The Salvation Army is always another worthwhile cause. They're on the spot, helping those who need it most.

About the breakdown of civil order ... unfortunately New Orleans has never been a truly civilized place. I've been twice and saw quite a bit of wild stuff, including muggers dropping from street-trees to rob us and police getting into fist-fights with rowdy partiers. Funny, the street was full of people a few moments before ...

New Orleans, Washington and few other American cities are dangerous places. Those city government barely function in the best of times.
Craig B - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#127183) #
Right on, 3RunHomer, good call on the Salvation Army (link goes to their homepage, which has been replaced for now with a guide on how to donate for Katrina victims).
Tenobia - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#127192) #
If you find the American Red Cross site too slow, you can also donate through the Canadian web site,, and specify that the money is for Hurrican Katrina relief. The money is wired to the American Red Cross for use in the affected areas.

King Rat - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#127201) #
Obviously, any of the established relief agencies is a good place to put your money.

As some of you know, I'm a Halifax journalist, and I've just filed a story about a relief concert that is getting underway here for families affected in the hurricane. It's not clear yet where the money will go from it, though I'm sure that will be settled before they hold the concert, but it's something to keep your eyes open for if you live out here. I spoke with a woman who fled to Houston with her family-it's heartbreaking to listen to these stories.

This woman, for example, got out with her life and family, which is the most important thing, obviously, but she's lost touch with her brother and is worried about some nephews of hers who didn't leave the city. I've been through a reasonably major hurricane, though Juan doesn't begin to compare to Katrina, and I can only imagine what it's like to worry that your entire city may have ceased to exist. It really is pretty terrifying.
StephenT - Thursday, September 01 2005 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#127225) #
I just made my donation via Tenobia's link.

I was in New Orleans for a conference just 4 years ago, during 9/11 actually. I was planning to go a minor league playoff game between the Zephyrs (Astros' AAA team back then) and (I think) the Mariners' AAA team but of course it was cancelled.

It felt safe enough in the tourist areas, but once I strayed just one block from Canal St. and felt quite uncomfortable with the number of people asking me for money. I would have gone for a walk by the Superdome but I wasn't sure it would be safe. Still, a lot of the sites were spectacular, especially the Mississippi River.

It appears this year's Zephyrs (Washington's AAA team) had 3 home games cancelled on the weekend (Fri-Sun) and evacuated ahead of the rush, and their last 9 games were on the road anyway. Zephyr Field only had minor damage and is now "serving as a staging area for emergency personnel and equipment". (But it's not surprising that is not currently functioning.)

When I was there, I remember reading in the paper one morning that that day was the "statistical peak" of the hurricane season, which had me wondering why they scheduled a convention there at that time, but it turned out we had great weather all week. I even remember thinking that it was a place I wouldn't mind going back to sometime.

Craig B - Friday, September 02 2005 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#127255) #
Yes, people should use Tenobia's link instead of mine.

This refugee situation is going to go on for months. Months. Unimaginable levels of financial support are going to be needed to keep body and soul together for these people over this time. No donation is too small; no amount could ever be too large. If you give *five bucks* it will help. Do it NOW.
Katrina : What Can I Do? | 7 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.