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Katrina - A Worst Case Scenario

Thoughts on Katrina, a few of which may appear brutal, but upon inspection and introspection will hopefully be recognized as truthful. For those of you who read this and feel I do not know of what I speak, let me explain that I endured the eye wall of Typhoon Pamela, which delivered 145 MPH sustained winds as it struck Guam during the mid-1970s, and experienced firsthand what a disaster aftermath is like. The Katrina disaster will turn out to be a thousandfold worse than what I experienced.

The Katrina disaster is rapidly becoming the Worst Case Scenario. IF YOU WISH TO HELP, and your help is very much needed, send a check for whatever you can spare to The American Red Cross. Please be patient, as their servers are very overloaded but are functional. You can also donate to The American Red Cross by credit card. The link above is a direct link to their home page.

When donating to charitable agencies, know to whom and how you are donating. Many scams will quickly arise to pilfer monies intended for disaster victims. NEVER donate or give information through any link solicited via email. No legitimate charitable or disaster relief organization will request donations by email. FEMA has provided links to legitimate agencies through which you can contribute to the relief effort.

MORE ....

The Mayor of New Orleans stated that hundreds, perhaps thousands, are dead. President Bush stated, "this recovery will take years." Neither statement is overly pessimistic. This disaster will become inconceivably deadly because so many people remained within the danger area. New Orleans and the Central Gulf Coast are potential death traps due to the geography of the coastline and extremely low elevations. Katrina was the storm that everyone, or nearly everyone, dreaded.

Of the people directly impacted by Katrina, some were foolish, some suffered from lack of comprehension, some stayed to assist those remaining, and many were simply too poor or otherwise inconvenienced to be able to leave.

The foolish remained for reasons that only they know, or knew, because many are dead. They had received warning but refused to heed, endangering themselves, their loved ones, and the emergency personnel that were there to help them but may have been able to do little due to the ferocity of the hurricane.

Many people remained in the area because they failed to comprehend the ultimate magnitude a natural disaster -- any natural disaster -- can truly achieve. As in Florida during Hurricane Charley, many failed to comprehend that when a hurricane strikes, an entire region is impacted, not just the narrow projected track for the center of the storm. Of those, many thought they had moved out of harm's way but simply had not moved far enough.

Those men and women who stayed to assist others are truly brave and dedicated men and women who should be admired and emulated for their efforts. In some cases, they stayed as their families evacuated. These people are in the disaster area now, helping as best they can.

Many, many people in the affected disaster region have low income levels and were simply unable to leave, either because they had no transportation, could not afford transportation, or because they felt they had nowhere affordable to go. Others were inconvenienced through circumstances such as hospitalization, old age, the inability to take pets with them, or the necessity to care for someone else unable to leave. I have great sympathy for these people, who must have felt extreme helplessness with their situation as a monster bore down upon them.

The foolish, those who failed to comprehend, the public servants and emergency personnel, the poor and those who otherwise could not leave. Many died and many more are now gravely in need of assistance. No matter how you may feel about the reasons why these people stayed, they are now victims who urgently need help.

I have already heard political grandstanding relating to this disaster. To our politicians, I say, "SET IT ASIDE. Now is not the time." Let's help the people in need, recognizing that this disaster has both emergency services and those affected overwhelmed. Recognize that people need critical assistance such as water, shelter and medical attention immediately. Also recognize that any effective disaster relief effort requires planning and that aspects of this planning cannot happen until a disaster assessment has been completed.

Everyone in the affected area is a victim, most people have not slept in days and are in varying stages of discomfort, and stress levels are extremely high. People are suffering from a severe lack of communication at the most basic level and are worrying about how they are going to survive and what has happened to their loved ones.

Let's try to help however we can and be understanding. This crisis is still unfolding.


Posted by: The Spidermaster on Aug 31, 05 | 10:06 pm | Profile

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