Helping Katrina refugees

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Refugee. What a strange word to apply to Americans. Refugee is a word for people in Ethiopia or Bangladesh. It's for people who have had to leave their homes behind because of war, famine, or natural disaster, and they may never be able to return.

There may be as many as a million refugees from the New Orleans area alone. Their homes are gone or uninhabitable. Their jobs are gone. If they aren't out of money already, they will be soon enough. These people will need to start over in some other part of the country -- find a place to work, find a place to live. In the meantime, they need places to stay and food to eat.

The Presbyterian Church in America's Mission to North America is seeking volunteers and financial contributions to help with the recovery effort. The Southern Baptist Convention have deployed feeding units in cooperation with the American Red Cross and Salvation Army. Oklahoma Baptists have a feeding unit deployed to Baton Rouge.

Glenn Reynolds has a long list of relief organizations recommended by bloggers, including the two mentioned above.

UPDATE: Bumped the date to keep this at the top of the page.

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susan said:

Kim Clement (his website predicted in July this disaster would happen to New Orleans.

The most reputable organizations are RED CROSS and Salvation Army. The trauma these survivors will have to face and the months it takes to get back on your feet financially and emotionally is overwhelming. There are always scams in times of crisis. Please make sure your donations are going to worthy reputable disaster relief organizations that have a long history of helping those in need.

On national news, I saw a couple interviewed. In spite of the trauma and devastation of their own loss, they said you mentally can choose to look upward to God for strength or look down (some of the survivors have acted themselves in outrageous destructive manner) and be depressed even more. This particular couple chose to look up to God for strength and the Spirit of God was obvious from their optimism and endurance, even among all the filth and circumstances around them.

W. Author Profile Page said:

It's fine to be all sunny because of your faith, as I do frequently.

But I can't see how anyone could be anything but bitterly disappointed by the relief efforts in New Orleans. It's the worst coordination I've ever seen.

We're supposed to be the most powerful nation in the world, but you'd never know it from those efforts.

W., we've never had to deal with something so vast and destructive to this extent before. An entire city is under water.
Do not forget the THOUSANDS of people that were saved and the many more that are being saved now.

And I hate to be the devil's advocate here, but I suspect that many of these people stayed behind in dangerous areas on purpose for the sole goal of looting.
You've got to remember the sheer amount of water that is covering the ground out here. This is a logistical nightmare. BUT troops are now on the move en masse.
I really do not look forward to all the finger-pointing that will come in a month or two. Heck, some finger-pointing has already started. Everything from cries of racism all the way to inter- and extra- party bickering.
Sometimes I wonder how many disasters it will take for we Americans to become truly united. We could accomplish so much more.
Let's start to pick up the pieces and get these people the help they need and leave the blame game for later.

W. Author Profile Page said:

I'm sure that "many" of the woman, children, babies, the sick, the poor and old people who are still in New Orleans hung around to brave the flooding, high winds, starvation, dehydration, dysentery, squalor, heat and small groups of thugs just so they could rip off a widescreen TV set.

That reasoning is ridiculous, Mee. You're smarter than that. I expect more from you.

The fact remains that this relief effort is a colossal mess. I have friends who are staunch Republicans. They are profoundly ashamed and saddened by what's going on in New Orleans. One told me: "The rest of the world must think we're a third world nation." You know that when even conservative stalwarts like the Washington Times, RedState co-founder Trevino, Newt Gingrich and Fox News correspondents are ripping FEMA and the president, you know things are bad -- very bad.

Blaming or finger-pointing shouldn't stop, either. Why give incompetence a free pass? I'm a taxpayer, and I'm demanding accountability from my government. It is the only thing that has the resources to deal with something this large, and so far it's fallen flat on its face in planning and execution. FEMA's role is to provide relief in disasters. So far, it has largely failed in that role. It shouldn't perform these tasks just because that's its job. It should perform these tasks because of basic decency.

W. Author Profile Page said:

And at a time when I thought the news from New Orleans couldn't get any worse, the Red Cross has been banned from entering the city.,1096,0_682_4524,00.html#4524

David S. Author Profile Page said:

From this page it looks like FEMA has been busy

After a drill done last year for NO this was said

But one of the drill participants, Col. Michael L. Brown, then-deputy director of the Louisiana emergency preparedness department, told the Baton Rouge Advocate newspaper that, in a worst-case scenario, there would be only so much government agencies could do.

"Residents need to know they'll be on their own for several days in a situation like this," Brown, who is not related to the FEMA director, told the paper.

According to this article on CNN

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 2, 2005 11:48 PM.

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